Between Cross and Class

Comparative Histories of Christian Labour in Europe 1840-2000

by Lex Heerma van Voss (Volume editor) Patrick Pasture (Volume editor) Jan De Maeyer (Volume editor)
©2005 Edited Collection 402 Pages


In the late nineteenth century in a number of continental European countries Christian associations of workers arose: Christian trade unions, workers’ cooperatives, political leagues, workers’ youth movements and cultural associations, sometimes separately for men and women. In some countries they formed a unified Christian labour movement, which sometimes also belonged to a broader Christian subculture or pillar, encompassing all social classes.
In traditional labour history Christian workers’ organizations were solely represented as dividing the working class and weakening the class struggle. However, from the 1980s onwards a considerable amount of studies have been devoted to Christian workers’ organizations that adopted a more nuanced approach. This book takes stock of this new historiography. To broaden the analysis, each contribution compares the development in at least two countries, thus generating new comparative insights.
This volume assesses the development of Christian workers’ organizations in Europe from a broad historical and comparative perspective. The contributions focus on the collective identity of the Christian workers’ organization, their denominational and working-class allegiances and how these are expressed in ideology, organization and practice. Among the themes discussed are relations with churches and Christian Democracy, secularization, the development of the Welfare State, industrial relations and the contribution to working-class culture.
This volume is the result of a joint intellectual enterprise of the International Institute of Social History (IISG) in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and a group of scholars linked to the KADOC – Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society of the KU Leuven (Catholic University Leuven-Belgium).


ISBN (Hardcover)
Europa Christliche Arbeiterbewegung Aufsatzsammlung Christian Labour /Europe Christian Working-Class Organization Christian Trade Union Catholic Corporatism Geschichte 1840-2000 Christian Labour Movement
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. 402 pp.

Biographical notes

Lex Heerma van Voss (Volume editor) Patrick Pasture (Volume editor) Jan De Maeyer (Volume editor)

The Editors: Lex Heerma van Voss is senior research fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam and Professor of the History of Labour and Labour Relations at Utrecht University. Patrick Pasture is Associate Professor at the Department of History at the University of Leuven. He mainly studied twentieth century Belgian and European labour history from an international and transnational/comparative perspective, but is currently working on a transatlantic history of Christendom in Western Europe and North America 1650-2000. Jan De Maeyer is Director of KADOC – Documentation and Research Centre on Religion, Culture, and Society and Professor of Church History at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.


Title: Between Cross and Class