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

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ISBN-13: 978-0226293851
ISBN-10: 0226293858
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (February 3, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226293858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226293851
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,527,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jean Hammerback on December 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
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.
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By Caleb McKillop on January 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly and just as advertised. Great quality book.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Try having him in lecture. Professor Gill shines in both arenas.
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