The classic question posed by Tocqueville about the relationship between values and democracy is coming to the fore again. The main argument of this article is that, while the social doctrine of the Catholic Church has a clear answer to this question, Neo-Calvinism does not or at least does to a lesser extent. To illustrate this point, the article focuses on a recent application of Catholic social teaching: the approach to the democratic legitimacy of the European Union (EU) as developed by Joseph H. H. Weiler. Because of historic and other parallels between Catholic and Neo-Calvinist thinking on democracy, however, the latter could perhaps draw inspiration from the middle path that the social doctrine of the Catholic Church represents between a confessional state and the liberal, neutralistic concept of the state.
Hans-Martien ten Napel, ‘Joseph H. H. Weiler’s Approach to the Democratic Legitimacy of the European Union: Is There a Message for Neo-Calvinists?,’ Journal of Markets and Morality 17, no.1 (Spring 2014): 125-141.
The Journal of Markets & Morality is a peer-reviewed academic journal published twice a year–in the Spring and Fall promoting intellectual exploration of the relationship between economics and morality from both social science and theological perspectives.’