Research Paper

Faith and Society: Christian Democratic reflections on the place of religion and ideology in the public domain

The aim of this study is to explore the changes in the religious and ideological landscape of the Netherlands and how they impact on existing social relations. What place do religion and philosophy have in society and how should government relate to them? This theme is at the heart of Christian Democracy. The rationale for this is that Christian Democracy sees man as a rational being who seeks to find meaning in life. How people behave socially and politically cannot be considered separately from each individual’s inner calling. What is at stake is the deepest motivation of human beings to determine their identity at the deepest level. It can therefore be seen that the body of ideas of Christian Democracy and the movement’s legitimacy are closely linked to the right of citizens to organise themselves in social groups on the basis of their religion or faith. This report does indicate that the manifestations of religion and faith may well be subject to change, but for many people these convictions continue to represent an important source of inspiration. Tried and tested principles will therefore be revisited in this report taking into account the changes apparent in religion, society and government. It cannot be stressed enough that such values as freedom, pluriformity and tolerance are of crucial importance for a harmonious society.

Published on 

December 2012

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