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Black Flag BoricuasAnarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1921$
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Kirwin R. Shaffer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037641

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037641.001.0001

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Anarchists, Freethinkers, and Spiritists

Anarchists, Freethinkers, and Spiritists

The Progressive Alliance against the Catholic Church, 1909–1912

(p.92) 4. Anarchists, Freethinkers, and Spiritists
Black Flag Boricuas

Kirwin R. Shaffer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the links between anarchists and other progressive factions on the island as they attacked and condemned the Church. However, one of these factions—the spiritists—caused a dilemma within anarchist ranks. While rejecting the Catholic Church, espiritistas believed in reincarnation and the teachings of Jesus, which they believed had been bastardized by the Church. Most freethinkers and some anarchists could be counted in the spiritist movement; however, not all leftists were comfortable with this “scientific religion.” Nevertheless, from 1909 to 1912, this alliance often worked together to challenge representatives of Catholic authoritarianism, culminating in the 1912 islandwide speaking tour of international freethinker Belén de Sárraga.

Keywords:   spiritists, espiritistas, spiritist movement, scientific religion, Catholic authoritarianism, progressive factions, religion

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