Bäuerlicher Antiklerikalismus um 1900. Eine Modernisierungskrise zwischen Ver- und Entkirchlichung
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The Catholic Church, especially in its ultramontane manifestation, as well as the peasantry are counted among the losers of modernity. Based on this assumption, researchers on Catholicism explain the skyrocketing electoral successes of the parties of political Catholicism particularly in the rural areas. Increasing socio-economical tensions at the end of the 19th century put political Catholicism to the acid test, which generated an anticlerical attitude among the Bavarian Peasants League (Bayerischer Bauernbund) and most of all in a predominantly catholic Lower Bavaria. This anticlericalism, however, had become an unabated tradition in pre-modern Catholic anticlericalism, which could not be jarred by the Reformation and was neither areligious nor anti-Catholic but which was rather based on structural differences between the village population and the priests. What is more, these differences were exacerbated by the claim of the ultramontane Church to interpretational sovereignty on all religious phenomena. The anticlericalism of the peasantry at the end of the 19th century was, therefore, part of the modernization crisis, which developed from a conflict between secularization and sacralization. The Church as well as the peasants accelerated the separation of the sacred and the secular sphere; the exact route of the demarcation line was, however, a contentious issue. Rural parishes and the Catholic Church of the 19th century should not be seen as adversaries to the bourgeois utopia of the modern era, but as distinct manifestations, organized by means of inbuilt principles.
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