Democracy, Religion and Politics

Article in Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue on ‘Democracy: Instrument for or Expression of a Christian Political Order?’

I co-authored the article with George Harinck, professor of history at the VU University Amsterdam and director of the Historical Documentation Center at the same university.

The abstract of the article reads as follows:

Is separation of the political and religious realms necessary for a democracy to flourish? This article argues that, whereas both the Catholic Church’s social teaching and Protestant thinking, especially as developed in the Netherlands, recognize the relationship between religion and democracy, only Catholicism explicitly acknowledges that Christianity is vital for sustaining democracy. Compared with the Catholic Church’s social teaching, Herman Dooyeweerd’s views on values and democracy, for example, are relatively underdeveloped. Even after his death, Dooyeweerd’s thought continues to influence one of the Dutch Protestant political parties (Christian Union), insofar as it still regards democracy as an instrument for a Christian political order, rather than as the expression of one.

You can read the full article here ( or at the journal’s website