Reflections on Christian Democratic Doctrine and Social Action

By Iovan, Martian | Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, Summer 2009 | Go to article overview

Reflections on Christian Democratic Doctrine and Social Action


Iovan, Martian, Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies


Key Words:

Political Doctrines, Christian-Democracy, Jacques Maritain, social order, subsidiarity.

While political philosophies and doctrinal aspects of left-wing movements have been written about excessively during the last two decades, the guiding principles of the centre-right wing policies and, obviously, of Romanian or European Christian democracy have remained on the second place. This particular place has often been neglected, although the political practice, both from Romania, and from the European Union has led to results - successes and failures - worthy of being subject to interdisciplinary, philosophical and ethical analyses.

The paper entitled The Principles of Popular Way of Thinking. The Christian- Democratic Doctrine and the Social Action published in the Collection Universitatis of the series Politology, bilingual edition, represents an intellectual project carried out with various methods, by specialists who live in several cities. It has been approached in a right-wing European context, using as fundamental premise - as the authors observed - the necessity of a doctrinal mentioning of the political area from Romania which is being claimed from the Christian-democratic or popular philosophy and which is meant to be internationally acknowledged as such (Argumentum, p. 9).

The authors of the paper belong to different but complementary academic backgrounds (Radu Carp, Associate Professor, Ph. D., Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest, counselor in special projects of external policy in the Presidential Administration; Dacian Gratian Gal, BA in history, European studies and law, "Babes-Bolyai" University, parliamentary expert since 1997, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Administrative and Political Sciences and at the Faculty of European Studies from "Babes-Bolyai" University; Sorin Muresan, studies in economic sciences, diplomacy, philosophy and theology, manager of an international company of economic and political consultancy from Bonn, Germany; Radu Preda, lecturer, Ph.D. at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, "Babes-Bolyai" University, founding member of the Romanian Institute of Inter-Orthodox, Inter-Confessional and Inter-Religious Studies), distinguishing themselves for the many volumes of scholarly works and academic journals that they have contributed to. This made it easier for them to adopt an interdisciplinary approach carried out individually and with a joint effort of argumentation.

The usefulness of the doctrinal explanatory steps, of mentioning the fundamentals and the Christian-democratic principles is evident and their effort aims at renewing the political class in Romania. An innovating policy cannot be successfully promoted in the context of the doctrinal-ethical ambiguity which is characteristic for the Romanian cultural context. Moreover, the authors consider that the multitude of parties and movements which are claimed from the European right-wing political way of thinking come to amplify the state of confusion of ideas, both for the politicians, and for the electorate. On the Romanian political scene, several parties and political projects (The Conservatory Party, The Christian- Democratic Rural National Party, The Great Romania Party, The Democratic Union of the Hungarians from Romania etc.) have had popular attempts, have taken measures in order to obtain a certificate of doctrinal birth with the purpose of joining the European Popular Party, letting alone the issue of ideological agreement. Using this situation as a starting point, the authors set themselves the task of contributing to the process of explaining the ambiguities found in the area of doctrinal guiding principles of the political class. Reaching this goal involves a capitalization of the academic expertise, of the professional experience in the area, a vast process in which the authors must gather information from top rank bibliographic resources, from political-juridical documents adopted by European Christian-democratic parties, by the European People's Party, by the Vatican (the Papal Encyclicals) and last, by not least, of the Tomiste and Neo-Tomiste philosophy. …

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