The Church in Andalusia during the Franco regime.

  • Philip J. O'Hare

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This study was prompted by an interest in the-role played by one of the cornerstones on which Francoist Spain was built - the Spanish Church - during a period of approximately forty years which saw Spain undergo far-reaching social and economic changes (industrialisation, growing affluence, an emerging middle-class) while remaining politically static under a dictatorship which disapproved of opposition. Unprecedented changes within the Church occured through the reformist papacy of John XXIII (and his successor Paul VI) and the Second Vatican Council. From being the supporter of a regime to which it had every reason to feel grateful after the persecutions of the Second Republic and during the Civil War, the Church steadily, realised its potential as a vehicle for social change in line with the Council's teachings; and this was accompanied by a recognition of the need of independence from state control or interference. It was inevitable that the effects of such changes in attitude should be traumatic both for Church and Government in Spain, and this work attempts to analyse the forces at work throughout this process. As a study of the Church in Spain as a whole throughout this period could not have been comprehensively detailed through constraints of size, and thereby imperilling academic rigour, it was felt necessary to restrict the study to one, particular region. Andalusia was the choice for two reasons: no work devoted specifically to the Andalusian Church had been published, a fact which helps make this study original; and Andalusia, with its history of underdevelopment socially and economically, seemed especially appropriate for a study such as this. After an introductory chapter surveying the region's economic geography and its inhabitants' social make-up as well as the ecclesiastical realities involved, leading up to the outbreak of civil war, the work is divided into five chapters thus: (a) the Civil War and its aftermath, amidst an atmosphere of ecclesiastical gratitude and triumphalism; (b) the period from the late forties to the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962, when the euphoria of the cruzada wanes somewhat at the first signs of stated episcopal concern with social problems; (c) the years from Vatican II to the episcopal declaration of a desire for a break between Church and State, in 1971; (d) the final years of the regime which, like the period under (c), are punctuated by difficulties between Church and Government; (e) a final chapter which, by examining developments since Franco, attempts to look to the future in the light of conclusions that may be drawn from the study.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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