The latest issue of the Journal Perspectives on Political Science (Vol. 46, 2017, nr. 1) contains a symposium on Christian Democracy and America.
The abstract of the introduction to the symposium, authored by Hunter Baker, reads as follows:
‘The confluence of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on gay marriage and the unusual nature of the 2016 U.S. presidential election presents American Christians with significant political questions. Obergefell’s elevation of gay marriage to the status of a constitutional civil right put U.S. law and Christian orthodoxy at loggerheads, thereby raising serious issues with regard to the continued ability of religious organizations to participate in the not-for-profit sector and in higher education. At the same time, the nationalistic turn of the the Republican party under Donald Trump generated dissonance with Christian views of human solidarity. The new situation seems to shift the landscape of American politics and raises the possibility of new alternatives. Contributors to this symposium were asked to evaluate the prospects for an Americanized version of European Christian Democracy. While they generated a diversity of opinion about Christian Democracy, the group pragmatically recognized the many obstacles in place. Some argued against the idea because of reservations about associating the Christian faith with the coerciveness of law. Others noted the proven virtues of such parties in Europe. This article interacts with the different responses and makes a case for why Christian Democracy might have a brighter future in the U.S. than many believe. The primary reason is that Christian Democracy emerged in response to aggressive secularism in Europe’s past that may only be reaching similar levels in the U.S. today. Therefore, a new political movement with similarities to Christian Democracy might make sense in the American context.’
See for more information on the symposium: Symposium on Christian Democracy in America.
A central tenet of my forthcoming book is that both the questions surrounding the right to freedom of religion or belief and those surrounding constitutionalism and democracy can generally best be addressed by seeking guidance from the theory of social pluralism. At least three views of social pluralism can be distinguished: what could be called an argument from history (Edmund Burke, Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, Otto von Gierke, John Neville Figgis); the recent Catholic tradition (Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius XI, Jacques Maritain, Bishops of the Second Vatican Council); and progressive Calvinism (Abraham Kuyper, Herman Dooyeweerd, H. Evan Runner, Bernard J. Zylstra).
This is the fourth post in a new series introducing my forthcoming book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To be Fully Human (Routledge, 2017).
For the first three posts, please see: