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MONDAY THE 25TH OCTOBER 2004 something without historical precedent happened, the Catholic Church presented for the first time in its history a single volume outlining its social doctrine. In March 2005, this text appeared in an English translation under the name Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (henceforth abbreviated the Compendium). This is thus an exciting text to comment upon, but I suppose that the average reader of this article is already a little puzzled: asking himself/herself what a social doctrine really is and why it is only now after 2000 years that this teaching of the Catholic Church has appeared in a systematic form? Before moving to the structure of the text and its content, we therefore have to dwell for a moment on these two vital and basic questions. The first is easiest to answer:  a social doctrine is constituted by statements about fundamental features of humans as social beings, dealing with institutions as the family all the way up to the United Nations; a social doctrine also proposes norms and constraining factors in order to regulate these forms of social interaction. A religious social doctrine takes its inspiration from religiously authoritative texts, persons or institutions. In the case of the Catholic Church, this means that its social doctrine is founded upon the Bible, the church tradition and the teaching of the magisterium (foremost texts written by different popes), and that its social doctrine is fundamentally oriented toward facilitating the redemption of men and women. That is, the overall goal of the social doctrine of the Church is transcendent, the good society serving as a basis for attaining objectives outside of the material and temporal world.

To answer the second question (that is, why now?), it is necessary that we situate the Catholic Church in the context of (post) modern society with its special features and demands, because the Compendium is the fruit of a long history of interaction and struggle between modernity and the Catholic Church. But what is then modernity? The definition of modernity is, as the definitions of many other central notions of the social sciences, a contested issue, but modernity is usually described as a complex process beginning approximately at the time of the protestant reformation. It implies on the one hand a new way of thinking described as rationalisation, disenchantment (Entzauberung), individualism, a sharp distinction between being and ought, and on the other hand ‘hard facts’ as technological inventions for example the printing press, combustion engine and the computer. Thirdly, modernity refers to social processes as functional differentiation, urbanisation and industrialisation. To simplify things somewhat, we could say that modernity is characterised by a strong belief in the power of human reason, a commitment that is a cause of changes in technology, society and individual life. According to what we can call modernism, a notion referring to the ideological part of modernity, humans can (and should) with the help of unaided reason change nature and the human society, which is without interference from religious faith. The Swedish historian of ideas Sven-Erik Liedman writes in his book I skuggan av framtiden: Modernitetens idéhistoria (In the Shade of the Future: the History of Modernity)

The basic feature of the idea of progress is the conviction that humans consciously and by their own power – with the help of their reason, knowledge and enterprising spirit – can change nature and society.

This implies that humans also can change themselves, including reason, because men and women are (at least to some extent) parts of nature—a consequence of modernity, which has received special actuality through the achievements in the field of genetics.

MODERNITY CONFRONTED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH in a particularly serious way through the protestant reformation that achieved great success with its implicit individualism aided by the invention of the printing press and the growth of national states. Another phase in the relation between the Catholic Church and modernity was initiated by the enlightenment of the 18th century with its rationalism and the consequent result: the French revolution. When we come to the 19th century, the Catholic Church is not only confronted with a glorification of human reason dismissing Christian faith as superstition, but it also had to meet the challenge of the progress of natural science and the ensuing industrialisation. In the late 19th century, the Catholic Church therefore had to confront a new type of society: the industrial society. It was in this new situation that the modern social doctrine of the Catholic Church was developed. The starting point was the encyclical Rerum novarum : on Capital and Labor (1891) written by pope Leo XIII. After this breakthrough, the popes up to John Paul II have repeatedly addressed social topics in their encyclicals, speeches and other texts, but it was first in 2004 that these teachings were presented in a systematic form. The social teaching was thus an answer to questions raised by the social consequences of modernity; at the same time, it is important to note that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was simultaneously engaged in a bitter combat with theological modernism, which was an incarnation within the Church of the more general modernism. These two issues, i.e. the social doctrine and the dealings with modernism, should not be artificially separated as they are joined together by the phenomenon of modernity, which they both relate to. As the Church moved through the 20th century this became all the more apparent as the first half of the century was living under the sign of totalitarian modernism in the form of fascism and communism, a self confident modernity advocating the ideal of a perfect society devoid of religious (Christian) beliefs and practices. In the later half of the 20th century, the realisation of this utopia was foremost the task of atheist communism, as fascism had been thoroughly demolished by the Second World War, both materially and ideologically. The pontificate of Benedict XVI, the first pope of the 21st century, has, however, been initiated without this particular challenge, a fact which signals another phase in the relation between the Catholic Church and modernity. If the social teachings of the Catholic Church during the influential pontificate of John Paul II in a dramatic way had to confront militant atheism and its special form of social utopia, then the later half of the 20th century witnessed a change of scenes; political communism without much warning collapsed, and the particular post-modern condition of late modernity could unfold itself in a new way. The foremost challenge for the Church was not any longer a confident atheist modernism, the question of impoverished workers etc., but a radical scepticism questioning the very fundament of modernity: the human reason. With this followed a widespread relativism in all its different forms: ethical, aesthetical and epistemological, legitimizing a consumerist culture in which pleasure has come to be regarded as the highest good. It is in this context of globalized western liberalism and market capitalism that the Compendium emerges, but the totalitarianism of both Nazism and Communism constitute an important part of the background determining this formulation of social doctrine. If one examines the references in the Compendium, the amount of references to the encyclicals and other texts by John Paul II are simply overwhelming. In his person he embodied the struggle of the 20th century Catholic Church with the totalitarian ideologies of Nazism and Communism, but also the still not resolved conflict with ethical and epistemological relativism of the late 20th century. This legacy of John Paul II is now handled by Benedict XVI who, while this article was written (2005-06-06), made his first public speech as pope on this controversial subject and the topics associated with it:

Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to (moral) education is the overwhelming presence in our society and culture of a type of relativism that recognizes nothing as definitive…

It is also interesting to note that the person who headed the Congregation for Justice and Peace which had the responsibility for creating the Compendium was Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, a remarkable man who was imprisoned for 13 years in Vietnam, daily celebrating mass in his cell with a drop of wine (his ‘stomach medicine’) and a morsel of bread in one of his palms. Once again, the concrete experience of totalitarianism can be seen to be an underlying current of the text. However, Cardinal François-Xavier died before the work was finished, and in the same way as the outdrawn incapacitating sickness of John Paul II this could be seen as a symbol of a new situation confronting the Catholic Church, and with it a new type of societies in an increasingly globalized world.


IT IS EASY to erroneously call the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church for the Catechism of social doctrine, due to the similarity of form with the better-known Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994). These two texts, nevertheless, together constitute a whole presenting the teachings of the Catholic Church in a systematic form. The major impetus toward presenting such a comprehensive program for the spiritual and mundane spheres of human existence came from the great reform council of the 20th century, the second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Ironically or timely, it has borne fruit in the 1990ies and the early 21st century at a time when ‘great narratives’ are considered as outdated or even intrinsically harmful.

The beginning and the finale of the text is made up by an introduction named “An Integral and Solidary Humanism” and a conclusion called “For a Civilization of Love”; between these two the text is organised in three parts. The first deals with the place of the social doctrine in the greater theological context of the redemption of man, and consequently the work of the Church. It also outlines the basic principles of the social doctrine as subsidiarity, the universal destination of goods and the basic concept of the human person as imago dei and its implications. The second part deals with social life in its concrete manifestations and begins with the family, moves through a consideration of work, to economy, politics, the international community, the environment and finally the question of peace. Part three, which is the shortest, outlines the role of the social doctrine in pastoral work and its significance for the lay faithful.

The most conspicuous feature of the text and also the uniting thread of all particular argumentations dealing with such diverse topics as Child labour and Globalization is the concept of the human person, i.e. a special form of personalism. In this we can clearly see the imprint of John Paul II for whom this was a favourite theme. This particular catholic view of the human person and its constitution and fundamental rights, is the basis for the Christian humanism which John Paul II called the culture (gospel) of life in contrast to the culture of death. It is precisely in this personalism that we find the foundation of the most hotly contested issues between the Catholic Church and the post-modern western world — mostly questions dealing with human life and sexuality. It seems, therefore, best to present the basic features of this view of the human person and the concept of natural law which is based on it, and then move on to deal with the controversial individual issues in detail and finally to discuss the possible future of the Compendium. This approach could be criticized for focusing on the sensational instead of presenting the basic outline of the social doctrine and thereby giving more space to such topics as subsidiarity. However, I believe that the future of the Compendium, and thereby also the future of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, is put to the test exactly on those controversial points in which it decisively differs from the surrounding civil and political culture. As we will see the hottest topic for the moment, the question of whether it is legitimate to define marriage as independent of the gender of those wanting to enter into matrimony is a question touching the fundament of the social doctrine, and which secondarily has repercussions for the questions of religious freedom and secularization.


THE BASIS FOR HUMANISM, both secular and religious is a conception of what a human person is and what it ought to be. The natural point of departure of the catholic view is found in the biblical narrative of the creation of man and woman in the image of God; an act that links humans to God as privileged creatures are related to their creator, thereby giving humans a transcendent character. That is, their supernatural origin and divine imprint make the human being ultimately unsatisfied with what is transient and contingent:

The whole of man’s life is a quest and a search for God. This relationship with God can be ignored or even forgotten or dismissed, but it can never be eliminated. Indeed, among all the world’s visible creatures, only man has a “capacity for God” (“homo est Dei capax”). The human being is a personal being created by God to be in relationship with him; man finds life and self-expression only in relationship, and tends naturally to God. (Compendium 2005: 50)

This transcendent character of the human person is also the most basic difference between a religious and a secular humanism, the latter which can only offer the human race a natural (material) origin and consequently an immanent quest and destiny. An important position which follows from this basic feature of catholic personalism is the rejection of individualism, and the insistence upon that the human person is social by its very nature and therefore cannot realise its true potential except in relations. The first relation that is necessary in this sense is that between the human person and its creator; but also interpersonal relations are considered essential for human self fulfilment, as God himself is defined as built up by a Trinitarian relationship, which was externally realised in the creation of man and woman in the image of God.

Secondly, according to this view, the dignity and value of a human person is inalienable (in a sense divine), and consequently no human society has the right to disregard this basic value, “A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person. The person represents the ultimate end of society, by which it is ordered to the person…” This entails that the human person has certain fundamental rights which no society has the authority to infringe. At this stage of the unfolding of catholic humanism, we come across the first major clash with the secular humanism of the contemporary western cultural sphere:

The first right presented in this list is the right to life, from conception to its natural end, which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia.

In many modern societies, the line indicating when a human person begins to exist and when it ceases to be human has become fuzzy: to be a person seems to be a quality which one can acquire and loose, thereby introducing a decisive difference between the body and the person. And as a secular humanism cannot depend on an idea of a spiritual entity, as the soul, it turns toward the mental as the criterion for being human and not merely a body. The catholic humanism of the Compendium has surprisingly a stronger connection between the living body and personhood, as it conceptualizes the person as a union of soul and body, the soul being the form of the body. Mental life is thereby not in the same manner decisive for the conferring of human status.


ANOTHER BASIC FEATURE of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church is the notion of a natural law. This means that there are certain basic moral principles which are built into the very nature of the human person, that is with the catholic version of what a human being is, certain rights and duties also follow which are common to all men and women. This means that all positive law, i.e. all those rules and regulations that are ratified in a state, has to be evaluated against these more basic laws. As we could see above, the first and primary right, which arises from the personalist doctrine, is the right to life, which entails the rule that it is not lawful to kill another human being. In Nazi Germany for example the extermination of Jews did not break existing German laws, but when the perpetrators were condemned in Nürnberg after the war, they were convicted for crimes against humanity, the judges thereby appealing to more basic laws inherent in human nature itself. The universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 could be said to rest on a similar way of thinking.

The position of the Catholic Church is that these natural laws are transparent to human reason, that is, in principle divine revelation is not necessary for humans as they try to discern these basic moral rules. The Church nevertheless considers the Decalogue as a concise summary of natural law, given because human sinfulness had obscured human reason and weakened human will power.

On the other hand, a radical post-modern position would reject any notion of human nature and argue that humanness is artificially constructed with the aim of promoting certain agendas. There can therefore be no universal rights of human beings and consequently no natural laws to appeal to when judging crimes as those of the Nazis. It is, according to such a view, the prerogative of the victors to judge the vanquished and write the history books.


AFTER HAVING PRESENTED the two basic concepts of the Compendium, that is the person and natural law, we can move on to those issues where these concepts and their implications are most vehemently challenged by modern lifestyles and ideologies. As is clear to all, these hot topics concern predominately the question of the constitution of the family and its natural foundation: sexuality. However, we should not forget that these topics are connected to the broader question of human life as in the case of abortion and euthanasia.

In the Compendium, the family is looked upon as a natural minisociety; its naturalness derived from the nature of the human person, which created as man and woman are exhorted by God to join together for the creation of new life. The argumentation of the Compendium repeatedly connects the family to the person:

The family is a divine institution that stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order.

The family has central importance in reference to the person. It is in the cradle of life and love that people are born and grow

A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the centre of attention as an end and never as a means.

The main threat toward this view of the family as a natural unit was in the fascist and communist systems foremost collectivism, that is the state wanted to take over the duties and rights of the family, but also those of individuals, for an idea of the common good. An example of such an attitude is the stance that it is primarily the state that should educate the children and not the parents. The other challenge, which is more prevalent in the west, is that of individualism, which has as one of its consequences that the state through its legislation consider the family as a temporary contract between individuals for the gratification of sexual pleasure. This entails that openness for procreation ceases to be a criterion for marriage, that is, one has effectively separated sex from the creation of new human life. This in its turn has as its outcome the conviction that two persons of the same sex, forming an intrinsically sterile sexual relation, could enter into matrimony. The topic of “the legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons” is addressed in the Compendium and three main arguments against it are presented:

1. “It is opposed, first of all, by the objective impossibility of making the partnership fruitful through the transmission of life according to the plan inscribed by God in the very structure of the human being.”

2. “Another obstacle is the absence of the conditions for that interpersonal complementarity between male and female willed by the Creator at both the physical-biological and the eminently psychological levels.”

3. “If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave determinant to the common good.”

The first argument is directed to the central function of the family, the creation of new life, which is impossible in a homosexual relation.  This argument is from the nature of the human being, but the Compendium argue in a theological way by referring to the intention of God as it is revealed by the physical complementariness of male and female, which is necessary for new life. The first argument thus blends into argument two that also argue from the design of God, but that add a psychological twist to the complementary nature. In a thorough secular society, the first argument looses some of its power as the notion of God as creator is not generally accepted. The prevalent view is instead that the human body is a raw material for human reason and desire, a stuff that can be transformed and manipulated (see the discussion of modernism above); gender is therefore not considered as an unalterable biological fact but something which can be changed. The thesis of complementariness, however, retains some force also in an atheistic context, mainly in its psychological aspects, which could be seen as derived from the biological complementary nature of man and woman.

The third argument does not argue from the God-given nature of the human person, but from the consequences of detaching marriage from the consideration of gender. Implicit in this argument is the notion of the family as the basic cell of society, and that if it is destroyed then the larger society will not be able to function in way which will benefit its members. The basic thought is that one cannot change the natural order without introducing disorder. Against this stands the other interpretation of the word ‘nature’ which do not connect it to an essence (human nature), but to nature as contrasted with culture, that is nature as material which we as humans decide what to do with, that is to cultivate, making what is only nature into culture. Only the future can tell if those societies that now introduce same sex marriage legislation, as for example the traditionally catholic country Spain, will move toward a weakening of the common good or if this experiment will avoid negative consequences. One thing which nonetheless can be said with certainty is that such a society which has dissolved the traditional institution of the family will be in direct opposition to the vision promulgated by the Compendium, and that it will thus constitute a grave challenge for the official teaching of the Catholic Church, at the same time as it is an experiment the outcome of which will be used as an argument for or against the social teaching of the Catholic Church, depending on the outcome.

As we could see above, the clash between the Catholic Church and the modern western world regarding homosexual marriages goes deeper than the mere question of homosexuality. We are in fact led back to the issue of the human person and thereby to the nature of sexuality itself. The opposition to homosexual marriages on the part of the Compendium becomes incomprehensible if we do not proceed to this more basic level. For the Catholic Church and its vision of social life is at this point in a significant way at odds with dominant trends in the contemporary culture climate of the west. As I argued above the basis for the promotion of homosexual marriages is the distinction between sex (as pleasure) and procreation. This separation is made possible in heterosexual relations by contraceptives and abortion, also those controversial questions. The argument in the Compendium is that a sexual act between man and woman is by its nature open to life and, therefore to take away this intrinsic dimension with artificial means (to separate sexual pleasure from procreation) wounds the integrity of the act. It is, therefore, vital for the Compendium to uphold the unpopular ban on contraceptives, because from the separation of the sexual act and its natural fruit, the child, comes for example with logical necessity the legitimateness of homosexuality, a kind of sexuality which makes this distinction absolute.

The argument could at this point be made that we are focusing not on the social any longer, but are venturing too much to the level of the individual and its choices. This is, however, incorrect, because the issue at stake is the family, and if this institution falls then the whole system of catholic social doctrine falls with it. This clash over human sexuality between late modernity and the Catholic Church thus takes place at the very basis of the Church’s vision of social life. To illustrate this, it is important to note that the topic of homosexuality not only has become a question of private sexual morale or a theme vital for the question of what a family is, but it has also become connected to the issues of religious freedom and secularization, two important topics in the social doctrine of the Church.

The link between the issues of homosexuality and religious freedom (freedom of speech) has been made in certain countries by increasing the level of legal protection of homosexual persons qua homosexuals and of homosexuality in general against hate speech and defamation, thus raising the legal question whether preaching that homosexuality is a sin, is a crime. The most famous case so far is that of the Swedish Pentecostal pastor Åke Green who was convicted at one level of the Swedish legal system and acquitted at another higher level.  One can, however, argue that in this particular case it was certain formulations of Åke Green that was tried in court especially the sentence that “Sexual abnormalities are a deep cancerous tumour in the entire society.” For the Catholic Church this legal balancing act between freedom of speech and the protection against defamation will if the Swedish model becomes widespread constitute a further serious threat against its position. Not only will the implementation of a traditional family policy be challenged by laws giving marital status to homosexual relations, but the theological opposition itself against such a development could in principal be criminalised. On a higher level, this has been actualised in EU, but then perhaps primarily touching upon the question of secularisation. The case is that of the Rocco Buttiglione who was the Italian candidate for the European Commission in 2004; intended to have the portfolio of Justice, Freedom and Security. Being a devout catholic besides a university professor and politician led him into deep problems, because when questioned he defended the view expressed in the Compendium on the family and consequently on homosexuality. He thus said for example that homosexuality is a sin but denied that he considered it a crime, and he further declared that he saw procreation as a vital role for the family. Bottiglione was in the end forced to withdraw his candidature, and in that way a clear signal was sent that to endorse the views of the Compendium (this affair more or less coincided with its publication) is a serious obstacle for obtaining a higher office in the European Union. This means that influential groups within the EU consider a mere privatisation of religious beliefs not sufficient, but in order to work properly in the higher echelons of the European Union it is demanded that one also privately adhere to the majority stance of western late modern society in questions of sexuality and family. This constitutes a radical thesis of secularisation, which will, if it becomes generalised, direct the EU into a collision course with the vision of the Compendium. We have to connect this to the earlier decision to not include a reference to Christianity in the proposal for a new constitution of the EU: a symbolical defeat for the official catholic position, which sees Europe as mainly, a Christian project. The issue of whether Turkey should be admitted as a member of the EU is thereby a crucial litmus test of how far one is willing to go in this regard. Recently, both the French and Dutch peoples interestingly voted no to the new constitution and the situation for the future of EU is at the present somewhat fluid.

The rejection of Buttiglione is not only serious for the Catholic Church as a precedence for future cases, but Bottiglione is also intimately connected to the legacy of John Paul II as he has written an early analysis of the former pope’s philosophy: Karol Wojtyla — The thought of the Man who became Pope John Paul II. In this book, he analyzes in a positive tone Wojtyla’s book Love and Responsibility that deals with human sexuality, and he comments on the book The Acting Person that deals with personalism. In a way, we can therefore say that with Buttiglione the Compendium itself suffered a defeat, before it even had started to have any influence as a systematic presentation of catholic social doctrine. Europe thus seems to be an important battlefield where the fate of this text will be partly decided.


WHAT IS THEN THE FUTURE of the Compendium? Is it a splendid systematization although without any great consequences? We can for example see how a traditionally catholic country as
Spain is drastically moving away from its catholic heritage, and we could consider Italy, which has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates. In the EU, as evidenced by the new constitution and the case of Buttiglione, the tendency also seems to be moving away from the vision of good society as presented in the Compendium. It looks as if the traditional catholic view of sexuality and the family and with it catholic social doctrine is largely on a global retreat. In such a situation, what can the Compendium achieve? It could become a kind of social fiction the fate of which is significantly decided by how well the post-modern liberal societies will achieve their purposes. In the case of non-delivery or of unforeseen fatal consequences of modernity, this catholic systematic alternative could be perceived as an alternative. The controversial and pivotal question is as we could see the question of sexuality and the family, the foundation of society according to the Compendium. The results of the modern experiment of radically severing sexual pleasure from procreation through for example the legal recognition of homosexuality will decide to a large extent how this will fall out. If the traditional catholic position is to have any credibility the dissolving of the traditional family in the long run has to lead to a genuinely disordered society. However, this simple evaluation by the effects can become difficult as it implies a consensus of what should be considered as an ordered and what should be considered as a disordered society.

If the consequences of modernity are important for the success of view of the Compendium in the long run, then the question of contraception is fundamental for the internal mobilization in the shorter perspective, because different polls suggest that the magisterium of the Catholic Church has grave problems with the attitude of its faithful, as for example polls in USA suggest that as many as 70 percent of Catholics consider it ok to use artificial birth control. The most politically wise strategy would therefore be to focus on questions such as abortion, which can gather a higher percentage of support from the catholic faithful, but Benedict XVI has recently signalled that he will follow the line of John Paul II and thus the vision presented in the Compendium:

Pope Benedict, in his first clear pronouncement on gay marriages since his election, on Monday condemned same-sex unions as fake and expressions of «anarchic freedom» that threatened the future of the family.

The Pope, who was elected in April, also condemned divorce, artificial birth control, trial marriages and free-style unions, saying all of these practices were dangerous for the family.

In a clear reference to contraception, the Pope said couples went against the nature of love itself when they «systematically shut off» the possibility of «the gift of life.»

The crucial question is if this tough line will cause a more manifest split in the Catholic Church along the lines of traditional/liberal attitudes, as Benedict cannot fall back on a charismatic personality in the same way as John Paul II. The future of the vision of the Compendium is therefore intimately connected with the outcome of this interior division within the Church.

Behind the emotionally charged issues of sexuality and the family, there lies the more elusive question of what a human person is and hence what kind of humanism that will decide the future of mankind. For what we see is basically a fight between on the one hand a modernity confident in its technological advances opening up vertiginous possibilities of genetic engineering and of the construction of cyborgs, part man part machine; a (post) modernity which at the same time is radically sceptical toward the possibility of objective truth and absolute moral norms; On the other hand we see a position advocating a personalism based on the transcendence of the human person, its God-given nature being the basis for the naturalness (essentiality) of its gender-ness, social life and basic rights. In one sense, we could say that the future of the Compendium is ultimately decided by the outcome of the struggle between the ideal of the manmade man and that of god made man.

Church Documents

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, Geoffrey Chapman, London.

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 2005, USCCB Publishing, Washington.

Evangelium Vitae (1995)

Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907).

Syllabus Errorum (1864)


Boileau, David, 1998, “Introduction” in Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, ed. David Boileau, Marquette  University Press, Milwaukee.

Buttiglione, Rocco, 1997, Karol Wojtyla: The thought of the Man who became Pope John Paul II, William Eerdmans Publishing Company, Michigan. (transl. Paolo Guietti & Franscesca Murphy)

Bruce, Steve, 2002, Religion in the Modern World, Oxford  University Press, Oxford.

Eklund, Lars F., 1995, Personalismen och Naturrätten: Två essäer om kristdemokratisk politisk filosofi, Timbro, Stockholm.

Liedman, Sven-Eric, 1999, I skuggan av framtiden: Modernitetens idéhistoria, Albert Bonniers Förlag, Stockholm.

Maritain, Jacques, 1996, Integral Humanism, Freedom in the Modern World, and a Letter on Independence, ed. Otto Bird, University of Notre Dame Press, Washington. (transl. Joseph Evans, Richard O’Sullivan)

Weigel, George, 1999, Witness to Hope, HarperCollins, New York.

Wojtyla, Karol, 1979, The Acting Person, Reidel, Dordrecht. (transl. Andrzej Potocki) –  (John Paul II), 2005, Memory and Identity : Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium, Rizzoli, New York.





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