By P. Coupland
Britannia, Europa and Christendom brings to mild the webs of effect linking Christian leaders and politicians and indicates the conflicting relationships among nationwide id and Christian universalism, and among Britain as a one-time global strength, a eu state, and junior accomplice within the 'transatlantic alliance'.
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Extra info for Britannia, Europa and Christendom: British Christians and European Integration
63 As a worldwide body whose links were not broken by the war, it was envisaged that this work by the ecumenical movement would be especially significant. This document noted that while the political and economic origins of the crisis were being discussed, experts in those areas were also saying that ‘spiritual and religious factors must especially be studied’ and it was this sphere which the Churches claimed as their area of special competence. In the first instance, the study groups were directed to critically examine the extent to which the crisis was a consequence of the ‘breakdown of “Christendom”’.
16 44 Britannia, Europa and Christendom As the theologian Alec Vidler argued, the notions of ‘original sin’ and the ‘fallen’ nature of humanity denied that society was governed by reason and the inevitability of progress and hence required that Christians reject the various secular utopianisms of the age. This did not mean that spiritual values could not change the world for the better but it did imply that creating moral order was a challenge of Sisyphean proportions. If there was any way out of the crisis, and Vidler was sceptical that there was, one prerequisite was that the ‘re-christianization of Europe’ be begun in England.
105 The Rev. 106 As Paton outlined at their outset, the purpose of the discussions he initiated was to either draft an appeal to the Government to issue its own peace aims or for the Churches to issue their own statement. Given that it was only peace aims adopted by a state which could hope to be realised, the latter course of action was only an indirect way to the same end, by influencing public opinion. 108 In 1941 Prime Minister Churchill continued to resist the declaration of peace aims. 115 At its base reconstruction, as with all political, social and economic questions, was a moral and hence religious question.