Catholicism and the Making of Politics in Central Mozambique, 1940-1986

Catholicism and the Making of Politics in Central Mozambique, 1940-1986

Eric Morier-Genoud


University of Rochester Press



Looks at the politics of the Catholic Church during a turbulent period in central Mozambique
This book is concerned with the internal diversity and complexity of the Roman Catholic Church. It aims at exploring, unpacking, and explaining how the Roman Catholic institution works, how its politics are made, and how the latter impact its environment. Using the diocese of Beira in central Mozambique as a case study, and following insights by Max Weber, author Eric Morier-Genoud takes the novel "horizontal" approach of looking at religious institutes within the Church as a series of autonomous entities, rather than focusing on the hierarchical structure of the institution.

Between 1940 and 1980, the diocese of Beira was home to some 15 different congregations ranging from Jesuits to Franciscans, from Burgos to Pipcus fathers. As in many areas of the world, the 1960s brought conflict to Catholic congregations in central Mozambique, with African nationalism and the reforms of Vatican II playing a part. The conflict manifested in many ways: a bishop's flight from his diocese, a congregation abandoning the territory in protest against the collusion between church and state, and a declaration of class struggle in the church. All of these events, occurring against the backdrop of the war for Mozambican independence, make the region an especially fruitful location for the pioneering analysis proffered in this important study.

ERIC MORIER-GENOUD is Senior Lecturer in African History at Queen's University Belfast.


June 2019
10 black and white illustrations
279 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora
ISBN: 9781580469418
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC REL045000, REL108020, HIS037070
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Related Titles

Table of Contents

The Making of the Diocese of Beira
Diversity and Dynamics of the Imperial Church
The Formation of an African Church
Gathering Storm: Vatican II Meets African Nationalism
Decolonization? War, Implosion, and the Vatican
Independence: Between Revolution and Counter-revolution

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