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The employer, his spiritual advisor and the section: the French Center for Christian Employers (CFPC) (1926-1976)

Abstract : This paper is part of a broader research project on the role of Catholics in the reform of the French economy in the twentieth century, in the domain of consumption as well as production. At the center of this study are organizations of militant Catholics that, in France, were powerful mediators between committed Catholics and society more generally. This is especially clear when compared to analogous sectarian organizations in other countries. If French employers have recently received more attention from historians, important Catholic employer organizations, like the CFPC (French Center for Christian Employers), have been neglected. The CFPC was born in 1948, when the French Confederation of Professionals--an assemblage of employer syndicates--transformed itself into an association designed to spearhead a movement. It exists until this day, under the name Entrepreneurs et Dirigeants Chrétiens. Based on extensive archival research, this paper establishes the "hybrid" nature of this organization, which served a critical mediating function between the world of employers, on the one hand, and militant Catholic groups on the other. Focusing on the concrete practices of this association, which reunited employers under the guidance of "ecclesiastical counselors," this study traces the evolution of relations between employers, lay society and the hierarchy of the Church, particularly in the context of the Vatican II Council (1962-1965). In addition to integrating Catholic thought and organizations into economic history, this study adds conservative, Catholic employers to what we already know about progressive Catholic thought and organizations across the second half of the twentieth century.
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Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel. The employer, his spiritual advisor and the section: the French Center for Christian Employers (CFPC) (1926-1976). 20th Annual Congress of the European Business History Association, European Business History Association, Aug 2016, Bergen, Norway. ⟨hal-03620158⟩



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