The continuous progress toward God - How Ottokár Prohászka saw the position and future of Hungarian Christian socialism?

The latest research by Hanna Zoé Dósa

This paper investigates Ottokár Prohászka’s thoughts about Social Democracy and Christian Socialism. Although the seeds of the Catholic thinker’s approach to modernism and the historical aim of Christian Socialism couldn’t be found in his very early works (What is the Social question?), it isn’t an exaggeration to claim that his perspective on modernism breaks up from the ground of Christian Socialism and its main sources, the social encyclicals relatively early. The social encyclicals, however, acknowledge the necessity for social interventions and criticize modern social mass movements, like the French Revolution, which disrupted the organic order of society and set back social progress. Prohászka even despite his harsh criticism of socialism, acknowledges its necessity. In his approach, social democracy serves to achieve a point in social progress that “excludes the phraseology of delusive emotions and disturbing social passions”. In this way, the steps of social progress get an eschatological, prophetic role, where concrete socio-political processes possess a theological, transcendent meaning. In the end, all of these serve to ensure that history achieves its goal, which is nothing else than continuous progress toward God.

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