Christianity and democratisation

From pious subjects to critical participants

By John Anderson

Christianity and democratisation


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7738-8
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: February 2009
  • BIC Category: Politics, Trade unions, Political science & theory, RELIGION / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, Humanities / Religion & beliefs, Economics, finance, business & management / Trade unions, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory
  • Series: Perspectives on Democratic Practice


This book examines the contribution of different Christian traditions to the waves of democratisation that have swept various parts of the world in recent decades. It offers a historical overview of Christianity's engagement with the development of democracy, before focusing in detail on the period since the 1970s. Successive chapters deal with: the Roman Catholic conversion to democracy and the contribution of that church to democratisation; the Eastern Orthodox 'hesitation' about democracy; the alleged threat to American democracy posed by the politicisation of conservative Protestantism; and the likely impact on democratic development of the global expansion of Pentecostalism.

The author draws out several common themes from the analysis of these case studies, the most important of which is the 'liberal-democracy paradox'. This ensures that there will always be tensions between faiths that proclaim some notion of absolute truth and political orders that are rooted in the idea of compromise, negotiation and bargaining.

Written in an accessible style, this book will appeal to students of politics, sociology and religion, and prove useful on a range of advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses.


Preface and acknowledgements
2.Democracy and the Christian tradition
3.The Catholic third wave: undermining authoritarianism
4.The Catholic third wave: creating a new order
5.The Orthodox hesitation: church, state and nation
6.The Orthodox hesitation: the 'liberal-democracy' paradox
7.The Protestant ethic revisited: conservative Christianity and the quality of American democracy
8.The Protestant ethic revisited: the Pentecostal explosion as democratic hindrance or support?


John Anderson is Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews

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