Journal Article

The Catholic Church in the Nicaraguan Revolution: A Gramscian Analysis*

Dana Sawchuk

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 58, issue 1, pages 39-51
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3712105
The Catholic Church in the Nicaraguan Revolution: A Gramscian Analysis*

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This essay employs a Gramscian framework to analyze the role of the Catholic Church in the Nicaraguan revolution. The differing positions of the hierarchy and base in the Church are explained in terms of the class conflict in Nicaraguan society and in terms of the Church's institutional necessities. The hierarchy's stance was both a reflection of the positions held by the Nicaraguan bourgeoisie and a result of the bishops' desire to preserve the Church's influence in society. As those at the base of the Church began to suffer increased oppression, and poverty, they began to participate in the revolutionary struggle. Liberation theology encouraged and legitimated such action. While the bases support of the FSLN threatened the hierarchy's bourgeois political project and interest in self-preservation, its adoption of liberation theology threatened the reproduction of the Church's internal power structure. As suchy conflict within the Church also developed.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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