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The Church and Revolution in Nicaragua

By Laura Nuzzi O'Shaughnessy and Luis Hector Serra

“Those seeking a deeper understanding of the role of religion in revolutionary Nicaragua will find his an important reference…”

Karl Bermann

This volume addresses the complex issue of the Christian response to the Nicaraguan revolution from a perspective generally sympathetic to the Sandinista’s goals. Luis Serra, himself a Latin American who has worked with the peasantry, argues that the institutional Church has now become a major autonomous source of opposition to the revolution. Laura O’Shaughnessy, analyzing the years leading up to the 1979 revolution and through the Papal visit of 1983, argues that the Church heirarchy has mistrusted the revolution as a threat to its traditional authority.

Both authors view the involvement of the progressive clergy in the revolution as the best way to keep the revolution “Christian,” both as an institution and as “the people of God,” in revolutionary times, and they ask if Church–state conflict is inevitable at the outset of a social revolution or if adaptation and accommodation are possible.

Laura Nuzzi O’Shaughnessy is an associate professor of government at Saint Lawrence University, Canton, NY. She is the author of articles and chapters on Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.   More info →

Luis Hector Serra, an Argentine, is a professor of sociology at the Central American University in Managua. His columns on Church–State relations and other matters have appeared frequently in Mangua’s daily, Nuevo Diario. His publications include “Educacón en América Latina” (1983) and shorter pieces on grassroots mobilization in Nicaragua.   More info →

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