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Title: Between God and Caesar : the Catholic Church in South Africa 1948 to 1990
Author: Ryall, D.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis examines the response of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) to the South African state during the apartheid era on three related levels: first, domestically in terms of a political history; second, theoretically by examining how Catholic social teaching responded to apartheid, and finally by using the case of South Africa to develop a theory of Catholic international relations. During the period between 1948 and 1990 the Church underwent a profound transformation, from compliance to vocal and sustained opposition. That change was due to a growing realisation by the hierarchy that in order to keep the loyalty of black Catholics they needed to be much more critical of the state. Another crucial factor in that changed attitude was the impact of Vatican II and its increased emphasis on the interrelation of faith and justice. The thesis also argues that the South African Church's response to apartheid can only be truly understood within the context of the universal Church's attitude to church-state relations, since the freedom of action which the South African bishops enjoyed was always constrained by the exigencies of the Holy See's position within the Cold War. The thesis develops an analysis of the Holy See's international relations using South Africa as a case study since it sharply illustrates the problems the Church faced on a global scale; how to secure its own institutional survival within a hostile state whilst simultaneously ensuring internal coherence between different groups, often profoundly at odds with one another on racial, political and doctrinal grounds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available