Unsecular politics in a secular environment : the case of Germany's Christian Democratic Union family policy
Title: Unsecular politics in a secular environment : the case of Germany's Christian Democratic Union family policy
Author: HIEN, Josef
Citation: German politics, 2013, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 441-460
ISSN: 0964-4008; 1743-8993
Secularisation theory carried two implicit implications for Christian Democratic parties: either they become secular or they cease to exist. Both implications were wrong. Christian Democracy has neither vanished from the political landscape nor has it become fully secular. To secure its survival Christian Democracy has embarked on a delicate balancing act between the modern and the secular. Following up empirically on the thesis of Christian Democratic politics as being modern unsecular, the paper explores how much of the Christian element is still needed to explain Christian Democratic ideology and policy in the twenty-first century. By scrutinising the struggle surrounding Christian Democratic family policy in Germany, the paper finds that the conflict on the repositioning of Christian Democracy in a new cultural environment not only unfolds between secular modernisers and religious traditionalists. It has also led to the re-eruption of the interdenominational cleavage between Protestants and Catholics within the party.
Published online: 4 December 2013
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