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‘The Encyclopedia of Political Thought is the most comprehensive and rigorous treatment of significant political thinkers, political theories, concepts, ideas, and schools of thought.
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Abstract of the entry:
‘The origins of Christian democracy as an international political movement go back to the second half of the nineteenth century, when a number of (predominantly) Catholic confessional parties were founded in Europe. Generally speaking, these parties were opposed to liberal democracy as it had developed until then. Later on, in particular the tradition of modern Catholic social teaching, with the encyclicals Rerum Novarum (1891) and Quadragesimo Anno (1931) as milestones, has been an ideological influence. Yet, by organizing themselves into confessional parties, lay Catholics paradoxically also succeeded in achieving increasing independence vis-à-vis their church.’
See for more information: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118474396.wbept0139/abstract.