Title "Young, Religious, and Radical: The Croat Catholic Youth Organizations, 1922-1945", in John R. Lampe and Mark Mazower (eds.), Ideologies and National Identities: The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe.
Author Prlenda, Sandra
Publisher Budapest, New York: Central European University Press
Annotation This chapter from a collected volume deals with the issue of Catholic grassroots mobilization in the Interwar and wartime Croatia by the example of organized youth movements. In the center of analysis are two organizations: the Croat Eagle Union (1923-29) and the Crusaders’ Organization (1930-1945). Prelnda argues that their aim was rechristianization of public life, not spiritual renewal; education and upbringing of the national catholic elite, which was taught to fight against liberalism and Communism that were perceived by the Catholic Church as serious threats. The author discusses how the Catholic Church in Croatia interacted with other social and political actors who were competing each other for the influence among the same ‘target group’ – the youth. Prlenda contextualizes her research object at least two levels. She pays attention to the tradition of Croatian nationalism and societal development and points out that in nineteenth century Croatian society “Catholicism was a tradition, not a political option” (83). Another aspect of her analysis is the comparison of Croatian Catholic youth organizations with their adversaries/ counterparts in Croatia, Yugoslavia (Croatian and Yugoslav Falcons, Ustasa Youth movement) and also in the framework of the Catholic Action movement inspired by Rome all over Europe. The author traces the evolution that the Eagles and Crusaders went through in the changing political environment of the Interwar Yugoslavia and during the Second World War.
Author of Annotation Maria Falina
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