This survey highlights, first of all, the irrepressible need to search for the cultural origins of the new political entity of Christian Democracy felt by the main protagonists of political Catholicism during the 20th century, Luigi Sturzo and Alcide De Gasperi. In examining the historiographical production related to the genesis of the Italian political Catholicism, the essay identifies three cycles: the first one extends from the mid-1970s to the irreversible crisis of the Christian Democratic party, and focuses primarily on the ‘Catholic succession’ to Fascism; the second extends from the dissolution of the Christian Democratic party to the end of the 20th century and focuses on the role of the party in the fifty-year republican period; the third starts from the beginning of the new millennium and stretches until today, and aims at clarifying the results of this trajectory. The survey follows in the footsteps of the first studies that appeared during the 1950s thanks to the contributions of scholars recognized as the founders of schools that have long marked the debate. The investigation of such a long time span highlights the continuous growth of the bibliography on the subject, which, in the new season, became less systematic as compared to the studies of the first cycle.
Keywords: Historiographical cycle, Catholic succession, role of the party, end of the Christian Democratic Party, first studies, dispersion of research