Sacred destruction?: Anticlericalism, iconoclasm and the sacralisation of politics in twentieth-century Spain
European History Quarterly
This article examines the ways in which anticlerical discourses and actions in Spain from the early twentieth century onwards became infused with religious language, sentiments and even belief. Specifically, it focuses on the anticlerical violence and iconoclasm which occurred on Republican territory at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The protagonists of these acts used a wide repertoire of religious-inspired collective action in their attacks on Catholic property and personnel. This article seeks to explain why this was. It argues that , in a moment of momentous change and accelerating modernisation, ‘secular’ and ‘traditional’ modes of thought mingled and fused together in the mental landscapes of anticlerical actors who had been strongly influenced by religious principles and practices. It suggests that the concept of the ‘sacralisation of politics’ is wholly applicable to the Spanish case.
Vol. 47 (3), pp. pp. 490–508