Paolo Morisi’s “Twentieth-Century British Christian Democratic Movements: The Search for a Political Space” appears in Telos 163 (Summer 2013). Read the full version online at the Telos Online website, or purchase a print copy of the issue in our store.
One of the major British political anomalies vis-à-vis Europe is the lack of a Christian Democratic political party. In most European countries these parties are part of the political fabric of the nation, but in Britain Christian Democracy never developed into a party. Research has shown that during the twentieth century there were British groups that inspired by Catholic social thought were the closest approximation to Christian Democracy. They not only sought to influence the parties, but also introduced into domestic politics typical Christian Democratic concerns. Thus, this essay seeks to address the following questions: What were their aims and policies? How and in what ways did they influence the parties? What was their ideological outlook? Finally, were there ideological differences among these groups?