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Antirazzismo cattolico e questione nera nell'Italia del secondo dopoguerra

Caponi, Matteo

Catholic Anti-Racism and the Black Question in Italy after the Second World War

This article explores how a growing focus on the Black Question framed an anti-racist sensibility in post-WWII Italian Catholicism. The cliché of a natural Catholic anti-racism is herein challenged by investigating interracialism as a mainline pattern: that is a third way opposed to both racism and militant, humanitarian and egalitarian anti-racism. The notion of anti-racism actually struggled to be incorporated within Catholic mass culture until the 1960s. This breakthrough was the result of the impact of three world-wide known phenomena: decolonization, apartheid in South Africa, and the US civil rights movement. Ironically, the Cold War anti-Communist psychosis was a driver of Catholic anti-racism: it was vital for preventing the “awakening” of black peoples occurring under Soviet fascination. The pontificate of John XXIII, the Vatican II aggiornamento and the 1968 crisis laid the groundwork for a paradigm shift, as anti-racist attitudes intersected liberal meanings and countercultural revolutionary utopias.

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