EXC 2060 A3-11 - Ultramontanism and Politics in Europe in the 19th Centruy
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Among the instruments allowing religion to become a driving factor in social and political conflicts was the formation of decidedly religious-political parties. Catholicism in Europe succeeded on this field in a unique way, without Protestants getting near to anything comparable. The roots of political Catholicism lie in the politicization of mass religiosity in "demonstration-Catholicism" of the early 19th century, for example in Ireland, Belgium and the Rhineland. The later German Center Party served as a model for Italian and Spanish people's parties. While these parties are well-researched within their respective national frameworks, their transnational genesis and interdependence has hardly been studied. Even their ambivalent position in the global structure of transnational ultramontanism, to which they owed their origin, but from which they gradually dissolved, requires a modern transcultural analysis.At the level of actors, supporters and media, the project studies the complex ambivalences of positions and practices, perceptions and interpretations that emerged when politics is spiritualized and the clerical is politicized; when, from 1848 onwards, Catholic fractions and parties arouse from ultramontanism, whereas in the late nineteenth century they increasingly resisted Rome's interference in politics; when Catholics, on the one hand, were exposed to the imposition of nationalism and, on the other hand, to the imperative of the Holy See as a nation-neutral center. How did contemporaries - Catholics and their opponents - reflect on the entanglement and disentanglement of religious and political dimensions in their transnational interactions at different levels?