Sacred Causes

Sacred Causes

The Clash of Religion and Politics, From the Great War to the War on Terror

Book - 2007
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From one of the leading historians of our time comes a brilliant and incisive work of history that examines the politics of religion and the religion of politics, from the catastrophe of the First World War to the modern-day War on Terror. Beginning with the chaotic post-World War I landscape, in which religious belief was one way of reordering a world knocked off its axis, Sacred Causes is a penetrating critique of how religion has often been camouflaged by politics. Covering a vast canvas, Michael Burleigh examines the many secular religions the twentieth century produced, analyzing how successive totalitarian leaders coveted and mimicked the hierarchy, rites and ritual of the churches in the desire to return to the day when ruler and deity were one.
All the many bloody regimes and movements of the century are here, from Stalinʼs Soviet Union, Hitlerʼs Germany, Mussoliniʼs Italy and Francoʼs Spain through to the modern scourge of terrorism. With style and sophistication, Burleigh shows how the churches, in their various guises, have been swayed by-and have contributed to-conflicting secular currents. Sacred Causes brilliantly exposes the way in which fears of socialist movements tempered the churchesʼ response to the threat of totalitarian regimes, tracing religious beliefs and institutions from a time when the church, disenchanted with both democracy and fascism, began to search for political alternatives. Eloquently and persuasively combining an authoritative survey of history with a timely reminder of the dangers of radical secularism, Burleigh asks why no one foresaw the religious implications of massive Third World immigration, and he deftly investigates what are now driving calls for a civic religion to counter the terrorist threats that have so shocked the West.
Includes information on Gerry Adams, Konrad Adenauer, Al Qaeda, anti-Semitism, Austria, Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI (Josef Ratzinger), Osama bin Laden, Bolsheviks, Bolshevism, Britain, George W. Bush, Catholic Action, Catholic Centre Party, Christian Democratic Party, Christian Democratic Union, Communism, Communist regimes, Communist Party, Concordats, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Alicide de Gasperi, Engelbert Dollfuss, East Germany, encyclicals, Evangelical church of the Union, Fascism, Fascist Italy, Cardinal Michael Faulhaber, France, General Franco, Bishop August Clemens graf von Galen, Cardinal Gerlier, Germany, Joseph Goebbels, Cardinal Isidro Goma, Great War, Cardinal Arthur Hinsley, Adolf Hitler, Hungary, IRA (Irish Republican Army), Ireland, Islamist terrorism, Italy, Jews, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli), Karl Kraus, Vladimir Lenin, Martin McGuinness, Maglione, Mexico, Jozsef Mindszenty, Mouvement Republicain Populaire, Benito Mussolini, Nazi Germany, Netherlands, Martin Niemoller, 9/11 (2001), 1960s, Northern Ireland, Nuncio Cesare Orsenigo, Partito Popolare Italiano (PPI), Pope Paul VI, Pope Pius XI, (Achille Ratti), Pope Pius XII, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Archbishop Jules-Gerard Saliege, Second World War, Sinn Fein, Slovakia, Soviet Union, Spain, Cardinal Francis Spellman, Joseph Stalin, Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac, Margaret Thatcher, Leon Trotsky, Unionists (Northern Ireland), United States, Theo van Gogh, Vatican, Lech Walesa, Biship Theophil Wurm, Bishop Stefan Wyszynski, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, etc.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2007
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780060580957
Characteristics: xviii, 557 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm


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Nov 02, 2017

Markedly better than the first volume, a more engaging read, and a bit more polemic than an academic book warrants. The middle part was dry and dragged quite a bit, but the first two chapters and from chapter seven onwards its a much more engaging book. Puts paid to the ludicrous idea (still peddled by some) that the Church was somehow complicit in the holocaust.


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