European Christian Democracy: Historical Legacies and Comparative Perspectives
Harper, William A., Journal of Church and State
European Christian Democracy: Historical Legacies and Comparative Perspectives. Edited by Thomas Kselman and Joseph A. Buttigieg. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003. 352 pp. $40.00 cloth, $18.00 paper.
For those students of European Christian Democracy waiting patiently for this century's successor to Michael Fogarty's classic on the subject, Christian Democracy in Western Europe, 1820-1953, this present volume will sustain life in the interim. The authors and editors, split almost evenly between Europeans and Americans, are mostly historians but include a sprinkling of those in other disciplines. All have a prior scholarly relationship with the topic and treat the CD phenomenon with respect and fairness, not as a quasi-legitimate threat to the liberal tradition and the separation of church and state or as an odd variant of conservatism.
The eleven contributions may be divided into three categories. The first and largest deals with electoral concerns, past and more recent. They cover a wide range of topics, several providing a helpful overview. These include Martin Conway's shrewd assessment of what "really" made for CD's success at the polls after World War II, Carolyn Warner's uncovering of how and why various national Roman Catholic hierarchies decided to support "their" Christian Democrats, and Gehler and Kaiser's account of transnational cooperation within the tradition from 1925-1965-putting today's European People's party into context.
Four more focused chapters round out this section. They deal with various aspects of CD in France, Germany, and Italy. Antonio Santucci's chapter on Communist-CD relations and the "could have beens" of post-war Italy, are especially relevant in light of the CD collapse there in the early 1990s.
The chapters in category two, …
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Publication information: Article title: European Christian Democracy: Historical Legacies and Comparative Perspectives. Contributors: Harper, William A. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 46. Issue: 1 Publication date: Winter 2004. Page number: 143+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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