God and the EU: Faith in the European Project, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

God and the EU

Faith in the European Project, 1st Edition

Edited by Jonathan Chaplin, Gary Wilton


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The current political, economic and financial crises facing the EU reveal a deeper cultural, indeed spiritual, malaise – a crisis in ‘the soul of Europe’. Many observers are concluding that the EU cannot be restored to health without a new appreciation of the contribution of religion to its past and future, and especially that of its hugely important but widely neglected Christian heritage, which is alive today even amidst advancing European secularization.

God and the EU offers a fresh, constructive and critical understanding of Christian contributions to the origin and development of the EU from a variety of theological, national and political perspectives. It explains the Christian origins of the EU; documents the various ways in which it has been both affirmed and critiqued from diverse theological perspectives; offers expert, theologically-informed assessments of four illustrative policy areas of the EU (religion, finance, environment, science); and also reports on the place of religion in the EU, including how religious freedom is framed and how contemporary religious actors relate to EU institutions and vice versa.

This book fills a major gap in the current debate about the future of the European project and will be of interest to students and scholars of religion, politics and European studies.


"This collection of essays on the contemporary relevance of Christianity to the European Union makes an important contribution to debates on the current travails of the EU and its future." - Jim Memory, Lecturer in European Mission, Redcliffe College, Vista

Table of Contents

Preface Rowan Williams. Acknowledgements. Notes on Contributors. Introduction Jonathan Chaplin and Gary Wilton PART ONE: THE EU: CHRISTIAN INSPIRATIONS, PAST AND PRESENT Chapter 1: Christianity at the Founding: the Legacy of Robert Schuman Gary Wilton Chapter 2: European Integration: a Catholic Perspective John Loughlin Chapter 3: The EU: Protestant Contributions, Then and Now Sander Luitwieler Chapter 4: New Worlds and New Churches: the Orthodox Church(es) and the European Union Peter Petkoff Chapter 5: The German Social Market Economy: its Theological Justification and Role in European Integration Werner Lachmann Chapter 6: Market-State or Commonwealth? Europe’s Christian Heritage and the Future of the European Polity Adrian Pabst Chapter 7: European Union, Identity and Place Joshua Hordern PART TWO: RELIGION AND THE POLICIES OF THE EU Chapter 8: European Religious Freedom and the EU Thomas Schirrmacher and Jonathan Chaplin Chapter 9: The Representation of Religion in the European Union Lucian N. Leustean Chapter 10: God and the Constitution Guy Milton Chapter 11: Christian Economic Ethics and the Euro: Which Way to Go? Johan Graafland Chapter 12: The Greening of the EU? A Christian Assessment of the EU’s Environmental Policies for Biodiversity and Nature Janice Weatherley Singh, Tiago Branco and Marcial Felgueiras Chapter 13: A Soul for European Science: Exploring the New Renaissance in the European Research Area Diana Jane Beech Conclusion - Christianity and the Soul(s) of Europe Jonathan Chaplin

About the Editors

Jonathan Chaplin is Director of Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Cambridge and member of the Divinity faculty, Cambridge University, UK.

Gary Wilton is Programme Director of Faith and International Affairs, Wilton Park-Executive Agency of FCO, and former Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the European Union.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics

This series aims to publish high quality works on the topic of the resurgence of political forms of religion in both national and international contexts. This trend has been especially noticeable in the post-cold war era (that is, since the late 1980s). It has affected all the ‘world religions’ (including, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) in various parts of the world (such as, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa).

The series welcomes books that use a variety of approaches to the subject, drawing on scholarship from political science, international relations, security studies, and contemporary history.

Books in the series explore these religions, regions and topics both within and beyond the conventional domain of ‘church-state’ relations to include the impact of religion on politics, conflict and development, including the late Samuel Huntington’s controversial – yet influential – thesis about ‘clashing civilisations’.

In sum, the overall purpose of the book series is to provide a comprehensive survey of what is currently happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, in relation to a variety of issues.

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