The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 576
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
essays, the primary one being a lack of unity. Some of the articles
were first presented as addresses during Cornell University's Latin
American Year (1965-1966) and some were written later at the edi-
The overall picture that emerges from the four parts into which the
book is divided is that the church is an important component of
Latin American society, that it has not been static, and that it is most
dynamic in Chile. Part One consists of a brief introduction by the
editor and an article by Ivan Vallier which proposes a sociological
model or theory of religious change which seems plausible but which
no other contributor tests.
Part Two, "History," is the weakest section. Renato Poblete's at-
tempt to survey the history of the church in Latin America in thirteen
pages was doomed to failure; even important items such as church
wealth and the lack of a native clergy are left out. Fredrick B. Pike's
article on the church in Argentina, Chile, and Peru in the twentieth
century is the best in this section even though it excludes considera-
tion of Argentina in the 196o's and slights the nineteenth-century
background of Chile and Peru. Since Pike touches on political phi-
losophy as sustained by the laity in Chile, Landsberger was forced to
concentrate on social doctrine as formulated by the church hierarchy
in his article on the modernization of the church in Chile.
Part Three, "Doctrine and Social Change," contains some percep-
tive articles, but even these leave something to be desired. Bishop
Mark G. McGrath of Panama describes the impact of the Second
Vatican Council (1962-1965) on the church in Latin America. How-
ever, he fails to consider the use of church wealth (whether available
or not) in the function which he asserts is the duty of the church,
that of promoting and protecting social change. McGrath seems to
contradict Landsberger on the diffusion of Leo XIII's encyclical
Rerum Novarum in Chile (pp. 84, lo7). Abb6 Francois Houtart
describes the attitudes held by different social classes toward social
reform, but does not elaborate on some of the more interesting ex-
periments such as land distribution by bishops and the use of nuns
for liturgical functions. Richard Shaull attempts to compare and con-
trast Christian Democracy in Chile with the New Christian Left in
Brazil. Readers will probably wonder what Shaull means when he
says that the hierarchy "may well follow the path which it took in
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/588/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.