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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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The Relationship of Patronage and Legitimacy between the Catholic Church and the Peruvian State

The Relationship of Patronage and Legitimacy between the Catholic Church and the Peruvian State

Chapter:
(p.169) The Relationship of Patronage and Legitimacy between the Catholic Church and the Peruvian State
Source:
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism
Author(s):

María Soledad Escalante Beltrán

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.003.0012

Soledad Escalante’s essay offers an overview of church–state relations in Peru before, during, and after the Second Vatican Council. Two terms central to understanding this relationship are ‘legitimacy’ and ‘patronage.’ During the Spanish conquest, the Roman Catholic Church understood itself as the primary ‘legitimate’ institution in Peru, given its divine foundation in Jesus Christ and its theological status as a ‘perfect society’ (societas perfectus). The state was understood as an instrument of the church. ‘Patronage’ referred to the gifts and prerogatives given to the church by the Spanish Crown to evangelize the New World and support the state’s colonization efforts. The transition through the Second Vatican Council and to the post–Vatican II period saw the elimination of the church’s claim to primary legitimacy and the reduction of the church’s patronage to the less material and more symbolic recognition of the Catholic Church’s unique historical contribution to Peru’s cultural identity.

Keywords:   Catholic Church, church and state, colonization, cultural identity, evangelization, Latin America, legitimacy, patronage, perfect society, Peru, Second Vatican Council, Spanish conquest

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