Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP5

Churches and European Integration, Final Report

Project ID: HPSE-CT-2001-00054
Funded under: FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL

Abstract

The Project "Churches and European Integration" studied the political role of the Churches in the post-Second World War Europe. The topic was approached by using the methods of Church History, History and History of Ideas as well as Systematic Theology. The studies of the Project we re conducted in five European countries (Finland, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Estonia), which allowed the Project to benefit from the various research traditions and methodological approaches. Researchers, either employed by the project or associated with it through other funding, have aimed at examining the question of to what extent, on the one hand, have churches brought positive input to European Integration and, on the other hand, whether churches played a disintegrative role in the Cold War Era and in its aftermath in Europe.
The fact that churches have tradition ally been active in international and ecumenical co -operation and in the field of diaconal activities supported the hypothesis that churches have had a positive impact on integration. The potentially disintegrative effect was found in the fact that churches have often been national churches and strongholds of nationalism in their countries. The project also took into account the possibility that some Christian churches or groupings had deliberately decided or chosen to withdraw from politics during the year s of the Cold War. Furthermore, in times of political crises, they seemed to have chosen to emphasize the eschatological and apocalyptic aspects.

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