Socjaliści polscy a religia na przełomie XIX i XX wieku. Przypadek Hermana Liebermana
Polish socialists and religion in the late 19th and early 20th century. The case of Herman Lieberman
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The article deals with Herman Lieberman’s views on religion, shown against the background of Polish socialists’ ideas. Although the question of attitude towards religion was only mentioned in socialist programmes, it was an important issue, which caused great controversy. Socialists supported division between the Church and state and argued that religion should be a private, personal matter. On the other hand, they eagerly used Christian ideas, adjusted to their own ideology, in the belief that they could find common ground with Christianity. It provoked arguments with the clergy, in the Polish case particularly with the Catholic hierarchy, who were certain that socialists’ ideas would lead to secularisation of society and would cause anxiety among the faithful. The churchmen strongly opposed against mixing socialism with Christianity and pointed out the fundamental differences between one another, which - according to them - were not possible to overcome or agree. The example of Herman Lieberman proves that particular cases were more complicated. Despite being a socialist of Jewish origin, he he was declaring his fascination with the teachings of Jesus Christ, which did not discouraged him from anti-clerical activity. Other members of his party were surprised at his positive attitude to religion, whereas the churchmen considered him an enemy because of his socialist views.
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