Letters and Politics

A History of Democratic Socialism in Europe and The U.S.

Today we are in conversation with professor Gary Dorrien about the history of social democracy both in Europe and the United States.

He discusses how the fallout from twenty years of neoliberal economic globalism has sparked a surge of interest in the old idea of democratic socialism -a democracy in which the people control the economy and government, no group dominates any other, and every citizen is free, equal, and included. Christian socialism, he explains, paved the way for all liberation theologies that make the struggles of oppressed peoples the subject of redemption. He argues for a decentralized economic democracy and anti-imperial internationalism.

Guest: Gary Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of religion at Columbia University.  He is the author of several books on social ethics and theology including Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice, The New Abolition, Breaking White Supremacy and his latest, Social Democracy in the Making: Political and Religious Roots of European Socialism.

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