This article argues that historical context can be a strong force for the origins of an ideologically and behaviourally moderate religious political party. It explores the origins of Italian Christian Democracy, following the trajectory of the Partito Popolare Italiano and Democrazia Cristiana in order to highlight a path to religious party moderation that excludes extremism and violence at all stages. That path includes the development of a moderate ideology prior to inclusion in the democratic system, influenced by efforts to reconcile Catholicism with democracy. Extremist alternatives are eliminated not through the moderating tendencies of a democratic political system but by historical events and by efforts of the moderate religious party to ensure that the democratic system does not collapse. Ideological and behavioural moderation are understood as acceptance of democracy and promotion of civil liberties, not as the notion that a party becomes in some way less religious.
- party birth/origin
- religious parties
- representative democracy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science