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Photo: “Saint Peter’s Square from the dome” by velyag, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Hue modified from the original.

Tjalve, Vibeke Schou. “Judeo-Christian democracy and the Transatlantic Right: Travels of a contested civilizational imaginary.” New Perspectives 29, no. 4 (2021): 332-348.


“Judeo-Christian civilization” and “Christian democracy” have emerged as darling far Right tropes, seemingly uniting radical conservatives in the US and Europe behind a single, geopolitical imaginary. This article presents a brief political-conceptual story of how “Judeo-Christianity” and “Christian democracy” became a rhetorical meeting ground for radical conservatives across the Atlantic. But it also sheds light on why deep, historical, intellectual, and ethnographic divides beneath, make those grounds highly unstable terrain. Divides not only between European and American traditions of liberalism and conservatism but also between the experiences and practices of state power that inform them. Beneath the slogans of Christian democracy espoused in such disparate contexts as Charlottesville and Budapest, move different legacies, memories, enemies.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.