Integralism & Postliberalism

Day 3
Session 6
12:00 PM

Over the past few years, some conservative Catholic theologians have reintroduced the political philosophy of “Catholic integralism” as the true social teaching of the Catholic Church, one even binding on the consciences of Catholics. These “neo-integralists” argue that governments must be subject to the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church, and for that reason governments ought to coerce the baptized to obey the Catholic hierarchy or risk fine, imprisonment, or death. Moreover, they argue that the unbaptized, such as Jews and Muslims, cannot be citizens and, instead, must trust their well-being to the mercy of the government. Neo-integralist political theology finds its contemporary political expression among “postliberal” conservatives who advocate for a large administrative state in service to the Catholic Church. In this talk, I address the troubling history of integralism, how the Catholic Church came to condemn it, and why it has resurfaced now.

Course Years: