“Overcoming or Silencing Conflicts: The Catholic Church and the Building of the Costa Rican Welfare State”
Originally held as a lecture at the University of Groningen in 2006; lightly revised in 2016
In this article, I briefly analyse the role of religion in the construction of the Costa Rican society from the 1930s onwards. I focus on the relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Costa Rican government. It is always difficult to speak about the position of the church. To avoid hasty generalisations, I will therefore limit myself to the public statements made by the Costa Rican archbishops. Even more concretely, I am interested in the archbishops’ concern with what usually is called la cuestión social – the social issue. That is, their treatment of themes such as poverty and inequality.