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Rendering unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America [Paperback]

Our Price $ 37.74  
Item Number 159878  
Buy New $37.74

Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 1998
Publisher   University Of Chicago Press
ISBN  0226293858  
EAN  9780226293851  

Availability  102 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 10:07.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Nowhere has the relationship between state and church been more volatile in recent decades than in Latin America. Anthony Gill's controversial book not only explains why Catholic leaders in some countries came to oppose dictatorial rule but, equally important, why many did not. Using historical and statistical evidence from twelve countries, Gill for the first time uncovers the causal connection between religious competition and the rise of progressive Catholicism. In places where evangelical Protestantism and "spiritist" sects made inroads among poor Catholics, Church leaders championed the rights of the poor and turned against authoritarian regimes to retain parishioners. Where competition was minimal, bishops maintained good relations with military rulers. Applying economic reasoning to an entirely new setting, "Rendering unto Caesar" offers a new theory of religious competition that dramatically revises our understanding of church-state relations.

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More About Anthony James Gill

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
You like the book?  Jun 10, 2004
Try having him in lecture. Professor Gill shines in both arenas.
highly recommended  Dec 27, 2000
Anyone interested in the overlap of politics and religion, particularly in Latin America, should read this book. Anthony Gill applies to politics and religion some basic principles that economists have shown to explain the behavior of business firms. In doing so, Gill provides us with an insightful and valuable way of thinking about how political and religious leaders behave.

Gill argues that most of the time, dominant religions-those who claim the adherence of the vast majority of the population-cooperate with the state. The Church can provide legitimacy to the ruling regime, giving it much needed credibility in the eyes of the public. In return, the state can supply crucial resources to the Church. When one religion holds a monopoly or near-monopoly position in the loyalties of the people, it will not have an incentive to violate this mutually beneficial relationship, regardless of how the state behaves. When there is competition among religions for the hearts and souls of the populace, however, the calculations change. Recognizing that people can turn to alternative religions, leaders of the dominant religion will often oppose a regime viewed with disdain among parts of the population. Gill develops and applies these ideas to the relationship between the Catholic Church and the state in twelve Latin American countries during the 19th and especially the 20th centuries.

This brilliantly conceived book succeeds in every respect. It takes on a controversial subject, presents its argument in a clear and careful manner, and develops convincing evidence. Gill effectively demystifies both government and, especially, religion. He shows that religious leaders have to worry about growing or at least maintaining their memberships, and this clerical concern affects the political stances they take. If you're like me, you'll find your time reading this book well spent: You will learn much about Latin American history and culture; you will come to understand how governments view religion; and you will gain new insights about how religious leaders behave in Latin America and maybe even your hometown. I recommend the book with great enthusiasm.


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