ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Religion and the Struggle for European Union, Brent F. Nelsen and James L. Guth delve into the powerful role of religion in shaping European attitudes on politics, political integration, and the national and continental identities of its leaders and citizens.
Nelsen and Guth contend that for centuries Catholicism promoted the universality of the Church and the essential unity of Christendom. Protestantism, by contrast, esteemed particularity and feared Catholic dominance. These differing visions of Europe have influenced the process of postwar integration in profound ways. Nelsen and Guth compare the Catholic view of Europe as a single cultural entity best governed as a unified polity against traditional Protestant estrangement from continental culture and its preference for pragmatic cooperation over the sacrifice of sovereignty. As the authors show, this deep cultural divide, rooted in the struggles of the Reformation, resists the ongoing secularization of the continent. Unless addressed, it threatens decades of hard-won gains in security and prosperity.
Farsighted and rich with data, Religion and the Struggle for European Union offers a pragmatic way forward in the EU's attempts to solve its social, economic, and political crises.
Brent F. Nelsen is a professor of political science at Furman University. He is the coeditor of The European Union: Readings on the Theory and Practice of Integration and editor of Norway and the European Community.
James L. Guth is William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science, Furman University. He is the coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics with Corwin E. Smidt and Lyman A. Kellstedt.
A provocative and original analysis that might help launch further debate on the historical origins of today’s conflicts over the EU.
-- Foreign Affairs
They build a compelling, coherent argument. Their narrative is rich with quotations that blend religious symbolism with political aspirations. . . . The argument rests on a firm foundation of statistical analysis: Nelsen and Guth have pioneered the use of Eurobarometer data to explore the correlations between religious devotion and European identity, putting the findings of their many (large) statistical models to good use here.
Offers an insightful analytical approach . . . Remarkable . . . A vitally important contribution to scholarship on the relations between religion and politics in Europe.
-- Religion, State, and Society
A rich volume, full of copious references to what is now a wide and complex body of literature(s) . . . By combining the insights of a wide range of valuable sources, the argument is developed with considerable acuity and force.
-- Journal of Church and State
A significant accomplishment and an important contribution to the fields of comparative politics, religion and politics, and European politics and history.
-- Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
This book has much to offer on a timely topic. . . . We are indebted to the authors for a well written and carefully researched book.
-- Perspectives on Politics
This volume is to be commended for the questions it raises, its historical scope, and the attention it gives to the intersection of religion and politics. It stands out as a valuable source for scholars and policymakers interested in better understanding European attitudes towards political integration and fragmentation.
-- EUSA Review of Books
"This book has much to offer on a timely topic. . . . We are indebted to the authors for a well written and carefully researched book. "
-- Perspectives on Politics
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part I: The Framework1. Culture and Integration
Part II: Confessional Cultures2. Common Roots3. Reformation and Reaction4. Political Movements
Part III: Constructing a New Europe5. Postwar Preparation6. Catholic Construction7. Protestant Resistance
Part IV: Divided Europe8. Member States and Elites9. Political Groups10. European Identity