The Roman Catholic Church's critical stance towards liberalism and democracy following the French Revolution and through the 19th century was often entrenched, but the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s saw a shift in the Church's attitude towards democracy. In recent years, a conflict has emerged between Church doctrine and modern liberalism under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
This book is a comprehensive overview of the Catholic Church's relationship to modern liberal democracy, from the end of the 18th century until today. It is a connection that is situated within the context of the history of ideas itself.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Europe’s Political-Theological Problem 3. Revolution, Religion and Church 4. A New Concept of Politics 5. The Church’s Defence Against Liberalism and Democratization in the 19th century 6. Disempowerment of the Church 7. On the Way to the Second Vatican Council 8. The Second Vatican Council 9. Church – Freedom – History 10. The Post-Conciliar Crisis Between the Church and Liberal Democracy 11. Pope John Paul II and Modern Culture 12. Benedict XVI – a Pope for the New Millennium 13. Pope Francis: a New Approach
Bernt T. Oftestad is Professor Emeritus, Dr. Theol., at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society.