Christianity and Democracy: The Global Picture

Issue Date April 2004
Volume 15
Issue 2
Page Numbers 76-80
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It is no accident that democracy first arose within the ambit of Western or Latin Christianity. Looking at Christianity and democracy around the world today, one sees that the Roman Catholic Church has shed its stance of opposition, or at best grudging accommodation, to democracy and in fact become a defender of human rights and government by consent. Protestants affirm democracy as well, and the world of Orthodoxy, while ambivalent, is leaning in a direction that essentially accepts democracy. In their attitudes toward politics and the public sphere at least, all faiths that embrace democracy also tend to undergo a certain “Protestantization.”

About the Author

Peter L. Berger is professor of sociology and theology, and director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, at Boston University. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Questions of Faith: A Skeptical Affirmation of Christianity (2003), The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics (1999), and The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (1967).

View all work by Peter L. Berger