Christianity and democracy


  • Thomas Schirrmacher


Religious freedom, secular democracy, radical Protestants, enlightenment, minority religions, Christian ethics, Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Islam, fundamentalism


The author traces the relationship between religious, and especially Christian, thought and ethics on the one hand and secular democracy on the other. While he concedes that the relationship between Christianity and democracy is and has been ambivalent, he demonstrates the significant contribution made by particularly the radical Reformations as well as religious minorities such as Judaism, towards the development of secular democracy. Majority religions, including the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and especially Islam, however, lagged and still lag behind in this regard, partly because of their more regimented internal structures.

Author Biography

Thomas Schirrmacher

Prof. Dr. theol. Dr. phil. Thomas Paul Schirrmacher, PhD, DD, is President of the International Council of the International Society for Human Rights and President of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (Bonn, Cape Town, Colombo, Brasilia). He teaches as as extraordinary professor of the sociology of religion at the state University of the West in Timisoara (Romania) and human rights and religious freedom at Oxford University (Regent’s Park College). In his religious role he is Bishop and Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, which represents churches with 600 million Protestant Christians.




Most read articles by the same author(s)