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Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious (generally Catholic) institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life, and the encroachment of religion in the everyday life of the citizen. It suggests a more active and partisan role than mere la´citÚ. The goal of anti-clericalism is to reduce religion to a purely private belief-system with no public profile or influence. Anti-clericalism has often been violent, leading to attacks and seizure of church property. Anti-clericalism has tended to be associated with the left of the political spectrum, and with middle and working class intellectuals.

Anti-clericalism in one form or another has existed through most of Christian history, and is considered to be one of the major popular forces underlying the 16th Century reformation. The philosophers of the enlightenment, including Voltaire, continually attacked the Catholic Church, its leadership and priests. These assaults led to the expulsion of the Jesuits from most Catholic countries by 1800, and played a major part in the wholesale attacks on the very existence of the Church during the French Revolution. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-clericalism [Nov 2005]

The anti-clerical cinema of Bunuel

If there exists one persistently anti-clerical subversive in the cinema it surely is Bunuel; his continued insistence on this theme -- from L'Age d'Or to Nazarin, Viridiana, The Milky Way, and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie -- dialectically indicates a continued involvement with his Jesuit childhood.

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