Competing Claims: An Analysis of References to the Past Made to Justify Ownership of the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
Wildenthal, Lora; Irish, Maya Soifer
Competing claims of ownership to the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, a popular tourist site, have emerged in the twenty-first century. The Cordoban Chapter of the Catholic Church was permitted to register the space as its formal property in 2006. Some politicians, particularly members of Spain’s Socialist party, the PSOE, dispute the law that allowed this registration. In their view, the law was passed as part of the conservative People’s Party’s strategy to protect privileges afforded to the Church. The thesis analyzes two reports to demonstrate how two groups, the state and the Church, relied on distinct episodes of Spanish history to support their claims. A 2014 local Church report used nineteenth- and twentieth-century property laws to defend its claims to ownership. A 2018 local government report used the medieval legal code Las Siete Partidas to argue for restoring the space to state control. The dispute in Córdoba is a microcosm of the challenges affecting church-state relations in the post-dictatorship era of secular democracy in modern Spain.
An undergraduate thesis submitted in partial application for the Honors degree in History