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The priest and the state: Clerical fascism in Slovakia and theory


Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 734-749, July 2021. ", "\nAbstract\nWe introduce a novel definition of “clerical fascism.” Building on Griffin's only available conceptualization, we define “clerical fascism,” in its ideal type, as a political regime put forward or significantly shaped by a movement or factions within a movement dominated by clerics and theologians who advocate a symbiosis of Christian and fascist principles. Our definition of “clerical fascism” is derived from case‐based research into interwar and wartime Slovakia. We begin by following the etymological trail of the concept and its historical context. We then expand on Griffin's understanding of the term. Our definition of “clerical fascism” rests on the three aspects of the political—policy, politics and polity. We show the analytical potential of our model by applying it to the political praxis of 1939–45 Slovakia. Our essay concludes by extending on the larger implications of this model for the study of religion and political radicalism in the past and present.\n"]