Portal:Christian democracy

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The Christian Democracy Portal

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Christian Democracy (marked "CD") on a political spectrum chart.
Christian democracy is a political philosophy that began in the 19th century and is based on Christian principles; like human dignity (imago Dei), freedom, solidarity, and stewardship. Such principles are not unique to Christian democracy, but they all have root in a Christian worldview. Christian democracy began in reaction to perceived excesses of both socialism and laissez-faire economic liberalism. From the beginning advocates of Christian democracy desired to chart a third way. The economic system that resulted from this third way is called social market economics.

Christian democracy tends to focus on the health of the community in all areas of community existence. This community orientation is sometimes considered conservative in regard to moral and cultural issues, and progressive in regard to social justice, labor, and economic issues. Philosophically, it could be considered a form of communitarianism or philosophical populism. Christian democracy is common in Europe and Latin America, and is considered a centrist political philosophy (sometimes center-right, sometimes center-left). Many current world leaders and heads of government in Europe and Latin America consider themselves Christian Democrats. Some notables in the past have been German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Chilean President Eduardo Frei.

Historically, Christian democracy was formed along two related (and ultimately merged) paths: one Catholic under Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903), author of the seminal encyclical letter Rerum novarum, the foundational document of Catholic social teaching and Christian democracy (as well as a guiding light to Pope John Paul II); and another under Reformed theologian and Dutch Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), founder of the Anti-Revolutionary Party in the Netherlands (the first Christian democratic party) and founder of the Free University in Amsterdam.

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The social market economy (German: Soziale Marktwirtschaft) is a social and economic system combining free market capitalism which supports private enterprise, alongside social policies which establish both fair competition within the market and a welfare state. It is sometimes classified as a coordinated market economy. The social market economy was originally promoted and implemented in West Germany by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1949. Its origins can be traced to the interwar Freiburg school of economic thought. The social market economy was designed to be a third way between laissez-faire economic liberalism and socialist economics. It was strongly inspired by ordoliberalism, social democratic ideas, and the tradition of Catholic social teaching or, more generally, Christian ethics.

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Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (German pronunciation: [ˈkɔnʁaːt ˈhɛʁman ˈjoːzɛf ˈaːdənaʊɐ]; 5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman who served as the first post-war Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. He led his country from the ruins of World War II to a productive and prosperous nation that forged close relations with France, Great Britain and the United States. During his years in power West Germany achieved democracy, stability, international respect and economic prosperity ("Wirtschaftswunder", German for "economic miracle"). He was the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became, and has since usually been, the most influential party in the country. Adenauer, dubbed "Der Alte" ("the old man"), the oldest leader in a democracy in history was still Chancellor at age 87, belied his age by his intense work habits and his uncanny political instinct. He displayed a strong dedication to a broad vision of market-based liberal democracy and anti-communism. A shrewd politician, Adenauer was deeply committed to a Western-oriented foreign policy and restoring the position of West Germany on the world stage. He worked to restore the West German economy from the destruction of World War II to a central position in Europe, presiding over the German Economic Miracle. He founded the Bundeswehr in 1955 and came to terms with France, which made possible the economic unification of Western Europe. Adenauer opposed rival East Germany and made his nation a member of NATO and a firm ally of the United States. A devout Roman Catholic Christian, he was a leading Centre Party politician in the Weimar Republic, serving as Mayor of Cologne (1917–1933) and as president of the Prussian State Council (1922–1933). The 1968–1969 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.

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Abraham Kuijper (/ˈkpər/; Dutch: [ˈaːbraːɦɑm ˈkœypər]; 29 October 1837 – 8 November 1920), generally known as Abraham Kuyper, was a Dutch journalist, statesman and Neo-Calvinist theologian. He was a master organiser. He founded a new church (the Gereformeerde Kerken), a newspaper, the Free University of Amsterdam, and the Anti-Revolutionary Party. He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905. In religious affairs, he sought to adapt the Dutch Reformed Church to the challenges posed by the loss of state financial aid and by religious pluralism, rising nationalism, and the Arminian religious revivals of his day which denied predestination. He vigorously denounced modernism in theology as a fad that would pass away. He promoted pillarisation, the social expression of the anti-thesis in public life, whereby Protestant, Catholic and secular elements each had their own independent schools, universities and social organisations.

Credit: User:ATX-NL

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