Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy

The Catholic Church in Polish History

From 966 to the Present

Authors: Ramet, Sabrina

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  • Provides the first history of the Church in Poland from a political perspective
  • Reflects research in Polish-, German-, and English-language materials
  • Offers a detailed examination of the Church’s experiences in each of the three partition zones (Prussian/German, Russian, and Austrian) in the years 1772-1918
  • Includes a detailed account of the Church’s fortunes in the interwar years, 1918-1939, noting divisions within the ranks of the episcopate and the persistence of anti-Semitism in the Church
  • Brings the story up to date, with detailed analyses of both the communist and post-communist eras in the life of the Church in Poland.
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About this book

The book chronicles the evolution of the church's political power throughout Poland's unique history. Beginning in the tenth century, the study first details how Catholicism overcame early challenges in Poland, from converting the early polytheists to pushing back the Protestant Reformation half a millennium later. It continues into the dawn of the modern age—including the division of Poland between Prussia, Russia, and Austria between 1772 and 1795, the interwar years, the National Socialist occupation of World War Two, and the communist and post-war communist eras—during which The Church only half-correctly presented itself as a steadfast protector of Poles, with clergy members who either stood up to foreign authorities or collaborated with those same Nazi and Communist leaders. This study ends with a consideration of how the Church has taken advantage of the fall of communism to push its own social agenda, at times against the wishes of most Poles.

About the authors

Sabrina Petra Ramet is a Professor of Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway, and author of 12 previous books, among them:  Nihil Obstat: Religion, Politics, and Social Change in East-Central Europe and Russia (Duke University Press, 1998) and The Three Yugoslavias:  State-Building and Legitimation, 1918—2005  (Indiana University Press & The Wilson Center Press, 2006).  She is also editor or co-editor of 34 books published to date.

Reviews

“Over the course of her long and prolific career, Sabrina P. Ramet has distinguished herself as a respected authority on the political history of modern Eastern Europe and the role that religion has played therein. … She draws from an impressive array of secondary literature, and she presents an account that is well organized, eminently readable, and accessible to a general audience.” (Robert E. Alvis, Journal of Church and State, Vol. 60 (3), 2018)
“…a sophisticated narrative, rich in details, which challenge[s]...popular beliefs and attitudes concerning the close and supportive connection between the Catholic Church and Poland....The Catholic Church in Polish History: From 966 to the Present is an engaging text, useful as a general introduction to the themes of religion and politics in Poland. The breadth of concrete detail is impressive, as is the ability of the author to synthesize disparate events into a coherent narrative whole.” (Michael A. Guziik, S.J., The Polish Review)
“Ramet correctly emphasizes three main themes in the book. The first of these is the fact that the Roman Catholic Church historically prioritized its own institutional well-being over that of the nation or state. Second, the Church ended up propagating a heroic (and only partially accurate) narrative of the Church's role in the Polish past, a narrative of religious resistance in the fact of oppression—this even when the majority of clergy served as examples of accommodation and/or collaboration with the powers-that-be. Third, Ramet hones in on the connection between the Church and nation, which she sees as only ‘forged in the era of the partitions...the overall argument of a politicized Catholic Church that all too often saw itself as being under siege, even when it was not, is sound.’” (Patrice M. Dabrowski, Nationalities Papers)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40281-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Catholic Church in Polish History
Book Subtitle
From 966 to the Present
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-40281-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-40281-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-42622-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXIX, 300
Number of Illustrations
7 illustrations in colour
Topics