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[[File:Popular_Catholicism.jpg|thumbnail|left|300px|<I>Popular Catholicism in Nineteenth-century Germany<
?I> by Jonathon Sperber]]
In Jonathon Sperber's book <I>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0691054320/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0691054320&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=4b2e0155bf1e93b6456d80de4e5d2028 Popular Catholicism in Nineteenth-century Germany]</I>, he examines the forces that shaped popular Catholicism in the German land of North Rhine-Westphalia between the years 1830 and 1880, and the role the Catholic Church played in this time of profound change. Sperber argues that the Prussian state was unsuccessful in subsuming popular Catholicism because of the dynamic and flexible nature of the Catholic Church in Germany, and because of its ability to incorporate popular movements and sentiments into a fundamentally counterrevolutionary agenda. Sperber also agues that the church-state struggle <I>Kulturkampf</I> was not the origin of Catholic conservatism in Germany, but instead merely an exacerbating factor. Sperber supports his thesis by exposing the ways the Catholic Church encouraged new religious associations and Marian devotion, restructured pilgrimages, and accommodated the Prussian state while rejecting the ideologies of socialism and liberalism.
Although dry intone and replete with impersonal tables and social analysis, Popular Catholicism in Nineteenth-Century Germany successfully conveys the conservative nature of the Catholic Church, and the integral role that Marian devotion played in the popular acceptance of that conservatism. While affected by Prussian state-building, Sperber shows that the politicization of German Catholicism originated in a visceral reaction against liberal ideals, decades before the punitive measures of the <I>Kulturkampf</I>.