Making Modern Spain: Religion, Secularization, and Cultural Production (Campos Ibéricos: Bucknell Studies in Iberian Literatures and Cultures) (Paperback)

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Making Modern Spain: Religion, Secularization, and Cultural Production (Campos Ibéricos: Bucknell Studies in Iberian Literatures and Cultures) By Azariah Alfante Cover Image


In this elegantly written study, Alfante explores the work of select nineteenth-century writers, intellectuals, journalists, politicians, and clergy who responded to cultural and spiritual shifts caused by the movement toward secularization in Spain. Focusing on the social experience, this book probes the tensions between traditionalism and liberalism that influenced public opinion of the clergy, sacred buildings, and religious orders. The writings of Cecilia Böhl de Faber (Fernán Caballero), Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Benito Pérez Galdós, and José María de Pereda addressed conflicts between modernizing forces and the Catholic Church about the place of religion and its signifiers in Spanish society. Foregrounding expropriation (government confiscation of civil and ecclesiastical property) and exclaustration (the expulsion of religious communities), and drawing on archival research, the history of disentailment, cultural theory, memory studies, and sociology, Alfante demonstrates how Spain’s liberalizing movement profoundly influenced class mobility and faith among the populace.

About the Author

AZARIAH ALFANTE teaches Spanish language and literature at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. She has published on nineteenth-century Spanish and Philippine writing and history.

Praise For…

Making Modern Spain is a groundbreaking scholarly achievement and required reading for anybody interested in the intersections of literature, culture, and religion in Spain in the long nineteenth century.”
— José Colmeiro

“Alfante’s work shows us that the spirit, apart from inspiring literary masterpieces, can also be written on stone. A stimulating and insightful addition to our knowledge of religion and its critics in modern Spain.”
— Gregorio Alonso

Making Modern Spain is an illuminating exploration of the ramifications of disentailment through a cultural lens and on an affective level. Azariah Alfante reveals the conflicted feelings about secularization in authors of various political bents, exposing a more nuanced connection between religion, cultural identity, and politics than that found in previous studies.”
— Jennifer Smith

“Taking a deep dive into nineteenth-century Spain’s anxieties about the sacred and the secular, Making Modern Spain rediscovers Spanish romanticism and realism through the lens of disentailment and its human cost. Azariah Alfante demonstrates conclusively that repurposing ecclesial buildings does not only displace those in religious life.”
— Denise DuPont

Making Modern Spain is a thoroughly researched piece of scholarship, which represents an original contribution to the study of the intersections among literature, politics, and religion in nineteenth-century Spain. Engaging with theoretical debates on religion and cultural memory, Alfante cogently elucidates the social, cultural, and individual human ramifications of disentailment and exclaustration in nineteenth-century Spanish literature.”
— Akiko Tsuchiya
Product Details
ISBN: 9781684484959
ISBN-10: 1684484952
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication Date: November 10th, 2023
Pages: 254
Language: English
Series: Campos Ibéricos: Bucknell Studies in Iberian Literatures and Cultures