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Type: Thesis
Title: War, politics and morality : the Spanish Catholic church and World War II.
Author: Varley, Gerald
Issue Date: 2009
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics : History
Abstract: This thesis starts from the proposition that moral and ideological issues now drive the continuing intense interest in World War II. There has been an increasing challenge to the probity of the response of both opponents and bystanders to the threat raised by Nazism. The thesis views these issues from the viewpoint of the Spanish Catholic Church, an institution involved in yet detached from the war, having morality as its core concern yet itself struggling to reconcile moral principles with political imperatives. Such tensions might illuminate, in particular, the similar struggles of the Western Allies. This study has been set against a background of historiographical development. It has considered the evolution of Catholic teaching on the morality of war and threats posed to the Church in the early twentieth Century political world of conflicting ideologies. In Spain, the Church, quintessentially Spanish yet inspiring extremes of devotion and hatred in Spain's total, ideological Civil War, had been devastated by that struggle. In defending its urgent spiritual priorities during a new European war, it faced many challenges that necessitated reactions involving complex interplay of morality and politics. Not only was its relationship with the victorious Franco regime uncertain but it feared the infiltration into Spain of any of the European war's contending ideologies-Fascism and Nazism, Communism and liberal democracy. The thesis describes the Church's response. This work also takes the view that the intensity of the ideological struggle made World War II a war of unprecedented totality. This study examines the attitudes of the Spanish Church to aspects of total war. It concludes that, although the responses of the Spanish Church reveal interplay of the moral and the political, these reactions shed some light upon questions of war and morality still asked today.
Advisor: Zuckerman, Fredric
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of History and Politics, 2009
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 Spain.
Catholic Church Spain.
Keywords: Spain; church; France; ethics; politics; war; morality
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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