The question of Islam’s compatibility with democracy attracts much controversy today. Yet we often forget the serious conflicts that pitted Catholicism against modern democracy throughout the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century. Many Church representatives as well as liberal and democratic critics did not believe the two to be compatible, as a matter of principle. In his lecture, Müller explores different Catholic thinkers’ intellectual and political strategies for reconciling Catholicism with democracy. He also asks what general lessons might be learned from these attempts.
Jan-Werner Müller, born 1970, teaches political theory and the history of ideas at Princeton University. He has published numerous books, including What is Populism? (2016), Contesting Democracy: Political Thought in Twentieth-Century Europe (2011), Memory and Power in Post-War Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past (2002), Constitutional Patriotism (2007) and Another Country: German Intellectuals, Unification, and National Identity (2000).