Since the Second Vatican Council (1962–5), theology in Spain has evolved from the highly traditional and conservative to the pluralistic. The majority of interventions by the Spanish bishops in the Council debates showed up the poverty of mainstream Spanish theology, which was due largely to the obscurantism and self-induced isolation of Spanish Roman Catholicism, which pre-dated even Francoism.
   The situation soon changed in the postconciliar period: theological research and teaching began to reflect the more open attitudes brought by the Council and by the impact of changes in Spanish society. The present spectrum of theological teaching and publications is as broad as anywhere else in the western Catholic world, though the emphasis in seminaries is now on a spirituality in tune with movements such as Opus Dei, which tends to lack the kind of social projection which had characterized the earlier post-conciliar period. By contrast, a more radical approach to sociopolitical issues is taken by other bodies, including the John XXIII Association of Theologians, founded in 1982.
   Theology is taught in nine Church University faculties and forty-six other centres affiliated to them. One in five theology students is a woman. Outstanding are biblical studies at the Institution San Jerónimo (St Jerome Institute), work on dialogue with secular culture at the Instituto Fe y Secularidad (Faith and World Institute), social justice issues at the Cristianisme i Justícia (Christianity and Justice) centre and pastoral theology at the Instituto de Pastoral. Pastoral theology also finds expression in such journals as Sal Terrae (Salt of the Earth), Iglesia Viva (Living Church) and Frontera (Frontier), formerly Pastoral Misionera (Pastoral Mission Review). As in the rest of the Catholic world there is a plurality of theological voices regarding political, social and economic issues. Conflict sometimes arises between, on the one hand, certain theologians at the leading edge of research and interpretation, and, on the other, the Spanish hierarchy, who are closer to the safe certainties emanating from Rome. This was so even in the time of Paul VI (1963–78) and increasingly during the long pontificate of John Paul II. Symptomatic of the conflict was the dismissal in 1988 of the editor of the pastorally progressive journal Misión Abierta (Open Mission), the suspension about the same time of two theologians of Granada University and, later, disagreement following publication of the new international catechism (1992). Conservative theologians favour the traditional kind of church, with strong emphasis on the magisterium, the teaching authority of the bishops, and on the parish organization, rather than on small grass-roots communities (comunidades de base), often inspired by Latin American liberation theology.
   See also: church and state
   Further reading
   - Castillo, J.M. (1985) "La teología después del Vaticano II", in C.Floristán and J.J.Tamayo (eds) El Vaticano II, veinte años después, Madrid: Ediciones Cristiandad (shows the influence of the Second Vatican Council on Spanish theology).
   - González de Cardedal, O. (1988) "Teología en España (1965–1987)", in J.M.Laboa (ed.) El Postconcilio en España, Madrid: Ediciones Encuentro (gives an overview of different strands of post-conciliar theology in Spain).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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