The Catholic Church and Violence


Silke Hensel provides a study on different groups in the Catholic Church in Europe and Latin America and their delegitimization or legitimization of violence. Since September 11, 2001 at the latest, public attention has focused on religion and violence. Time and again throughout the 20th century, the Catholic Church has taken a stand on the issue of violence in word and deed, e. g. during the civil wars in Spain and Mexico as well as with its behaviour towards the Soviet regime, Italian fascism, the Nazi dictatorship and South American military dictatorships. But liberation theologians also discussed the use of violence to fight structural injustice. In this volume, renowned historians and theologians from Latin America and Europe draw on newly available sources to show how different groups within the Catholic Church responded to the exercise of violence and the people behind it, and how they legitimized or delegitimized violence. Furthermore, the question of whether the Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) marked a turning point is discussed.(Böhlau Verlag/ska)

Literature: Hensel, Silke, and Hubert Wolf (eds.), Die katholische Kirche und Gewalt. Europa und Lateinamerika im 20. Jahrhundert, Cologne et al.: Böhlau 2013 (with contributions from Silke Hensel, Stephan Ruderer, Antje Schnoor, Hubert Wolf, and Gianmaria Zamagni).