Neither German nor Pole: Catholicism and National Indifference in a Central European Borderland

Neither German nor Pole: Catholicism and National Indifference in a Central European Borderland

by James Bjork

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"This is a fascinating local story with major implications for studies of nationalism and regional identities throughout Europe more generally."
---Dennis Sweeney, University of Alberta

"James Bjork has produced a finely crafted, insightful, indeed, pathbreaking study of the interplay between religious and national identity in late nineteenth-century Central Europe."
---Anthony Steinhoff, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Neither German nor Pole examines how the inhabitants of one of Europe's most densely populated industrial districts managed to defy clear-cut national categorization, even in the heyday of nationalizing pressures at the turn of the twentieth century. As James E. Bjork argues, the "civic national" project of turning inhabitants of Upper Silesia into Germans and the "ethnic national" project of awakening them as Poles both enjoyed successes, but these often canceled one another out, exacerbating rather than eliminating doubts about people's national allegiances. In this deadlock, it was a different kind of identification---religion---that provided both the ideological framework and the social space for Upper Silesia to navigate between German and Polish orientations. A fine-grained, microhistorical study of how confessional politics and the daily rhythms of bilingual Roman Catholic religious practice subverted national identification, Neither German nor Pole moves beyond local history to address broad questions about the relationship between nationalism, religion, and modernity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780472025299
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 12/21/2009
Series: Social History, Popular Culture, And Politics In Germany
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 716 KB

About the Author

James E. Bjork is a lecturer in the History Department of King's College London.

Table of Contents

\rrhp\ \lrrh: Contents\ \1h\ Contents \xt\ \comp: set page numbers on page proofs\ Acknowledgments Place-Name Equivalents Notes on Language and Names Introduction Chapter 1: Priests, Editors and the Struggle for the Catholic Milieu Chapter 2: Down with the Center: The Growth of Alternative Nationalisms Chapter 3: The Retreat from Nationalist Politics Chapter 4: The Vicissitudes of War Chapter 5: Either/Or: The Plebiscite of 1921 Conclusion Selected Bibliography Index \to come\

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