The Ecumenical Movement & the Making of the European Community (Hardback)
  • The Ecumenical Movement & the Making of the European Community (Hardback)

The Ecumenical Movement & the Making of the European Community (Hardback)

Hardback 310 Pages
Published: 31/07/2014
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The European Community has largely been considered a predominantly secular project, bringing together the economic and political realms, while failing to mobilise the public voice and imagination of churchmen and the faithful. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, this is the first study to assess the political history of religious dialogue in the European Community. It challenges the widespread perception that churches started to engage with European institutions only after the 1979 elections to the European Parliament, by detailing close relations between churchmen and high-ranking officials in European institutions, immediately after the 1950 Schuman Declaration.

Lucian N. Leustean demonstrates that Cold War divisions between East and West, and the very nature of the ecumenical movement, had a direct impact on the ways in which churches approached the European Community. He brings to light events and issues which have not previously been examined, such as the response of churches to the Schuman Plan, and the political mobilisation of church representations in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. Leustean argues that the concept of a 'united Europe' has been impeded by competing national differences between religious and political institutions, having a long-standing legacy on the making of a fragmented European Community.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198714569
Number of pages: 310
Weight: 618 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 26 mm


A thorough and detailed account of the interaction between churchmen, ecumenical leaders, and the pioneers of European integration. As he shows in this meticulously researched book, the idea of a unified Europe also included a spiritual dimension. - G. Daniel Cohen, American Historical Review

This careful, astutely-judged book gives the contemporary church historian much to value, and much reason to be grateful. - Andrew Chandler, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Leustean contributes to our understanding of postwar European Christianity and its relation with politics by showing how international ecumenism, which once galvanised the continent's Protestants, became the largely irrelevant project it is today. - Justin Reynolds, Journal of Religious History

To his credit, Leustean does not shy away from analyzing how the ideological bifurcation ushered in by the Cold War affected the enthusiasm religious communities displayed for greater economic and political integration, nor does he overlook the influence churches behind the Iron Curtain had on this process. - George Soroka, Politics and Religion

this detailed survey of the interactions between religious actors and the institutions of European integration offers a welcome insight into the evolving efforts of communities of faith to engage with changing secular institutional environments. - Stratos Patrikios, Reviews in Religion and Theology

[A] compelling book - Clayton Fordahl, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

a significant contribution to the study of the making of the European Community and an outstanding resource for students of the ecumenical movement and inter-church relations during the Cold War. Leustean is to be commended for the in-depth, systematic and comprehensive research, with its informed and insightful analysis, that means this book is unlikely to be surpassed as the definitive text in its field. - Dianne Kirby, European History Quarterly

It is hard to do justice to Leustean's achievement in bringing order to this largely unknown account of an academic character that fits the traditions neither of political/diplomatic nor of church history. He has been able to interview many aged key players like Max Kohnstamm and has consulted a 17-page list of archives, even of short-lived groups in kaleidoscopic variations of acronym. - John Nurser, Religion, State and Society

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