In recent years the study of local religious histories, especially in Europe, has gained in prominence. Because of the encounters between different cultural traditions in the Middle Ages and the voyages of discovery, the religious history of the Iberian Peninsula became one of the most complex in Europe. This article focuses on one portion of this history around the turn of the 19th/20th century, and in particular on two attempts to blame the Catholic religion for the general crisis in Spain and Portugal at the start of the modern era. These two forms of critiquing religion are illustrated by the examples of Miguel de Unamuno and Antero de Quental, whose writings were characteristic of the typical relationship between religion and intellectuals in this period. Not only were the Spanish philosopher and the Portuguese poet influential on their own and later generations, but they are also truly representative of a certain tragic "loss" of religion in the Iberian Peninsula.