Democracy, society and truth: an exploration of Catholic social teaching


Journal Article

AbstractThis article maintains that modern Catholic social teaching took shape by positioning itself between revolutionary ideologies that sought to destroy the church and reactionary forces that sought to instrumentalise it. Among the factors that contributed to this development were the emergence of a theologyical and socio-political conception of the laity, reflection on the question of how humans participate in Christ's rule, the development of a consociational vision of sovereignty in distinction from top-down or monistic views, the importance of labour to a proper understanding of human dignity, and the discovery of ‘society’, as distinct from the market and the state. Appreciation of these factors resulted in the magisterial defence of democratic politics as a necessary condition for telling the truth about what it means to be human.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bretherton, L

Published Date

  • August 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 69 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 267 - 280

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-3065

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-9306

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0036930616000284


  • en