Nicaragua's Other Revolution: Religious Faith and Political Struggle

Synopsis

The 1979 rebellion in Nicaragua was the first in modern Latin America to be carried out with the active participation and support of Christians. Like all revolutions, the Nicaraguan Revolution has provoked controversy and hostility, and the Christian presence has been a focal point in the debate. In this work Michael Dodson and Laura Nuzzi O'Shaughnessy offer a detailed study of the religious sources of the revolution set against the backgound of the revolutionary traditions of the United States.
Nicaragua's Other Revolution places the experience of the Nicaraguan Revolution in a historical framework that extends back to the Protestant Reformation and in an institutional framework that encompasses the whole of Nicaraguan politics. Examining the broad process of religious change, this work explores how that process interacted with the political struggles that culminated in the revolution. Dodson and O'Shaughnessy conclude that the religious values and attitudes arising out of postconciliar renewal in the church contributed powerfully to demands for revolutionary change in Nicaragua.
In England and America the Protestant Reformation gave a tremendous boost to demands for democratic changes in society and politics. This work shows that something similar happened in Catholic Central America in the post-Medellin period. Changes in religious thought and action were part of, and served to reinforce and stimulate, a wider movement for social and political change. Without denying the importance of Marxism, the authors demonstrate that other important influences are at work there.
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