The Catholic Church and Politics in Nicaragua and Costa Rica

I would like to stress that this work is a well-balanced and carefully researched analysis and critique. It also constitutes both a contribution and a challenge to other churches in the hemisphere and beyond concerning their own self-identity and alliances with political power.

Unlike most recent studies of the Catholic Church in Latin America, Philip J. Williams analyzes the Church in two very dissimilar political contexts-Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Despite the obvious differences, Williams argues that in both cases the Church has responded to social change in remarkably similar fashion. The efforts of progressive clergy to promote change in both countries have been largely blocked by Church hierarchy, fearful that such change will threaten the Church's influence in society.

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Philip Williams

Philip J. Williams is professor and director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida.

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Philip Williams