The EU, economic crisis and religion
The announcement was greeted with astonishment and ridicule, but this month the European Union will be presented with the Nobel peace prize. A terrible mistake or an affirmation of values which could be threatened as the continent faces austerity?
Roy Jenkins tries to dig beneath the reports of soaring unemployment, failing businesses and deepening poverty to reflect on the roots of the European project. Many see those roots in Christian principles, and specifically in the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.
To what extent is the union more than an economic and political creation? And in an increasingly secularised Europe, how realistic is it to expect adherence to values emerging from a faith tradition? And how much influence, if any, do religious groups continue to exercise in the corridors of continental power?
Joining the discussion are Brian Griffiths, Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, Vice Chairman of the investment bankers Goldman Sachs International and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher; Lina Molokotos-Liederman, a Sociologist of Religion;
the Rev. Rudiger Noll, Director of the Church and Society Commission of CEC, the Conference of European Churches of which he is also the Associate General Secretary; and The Rt. Rev. William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, who speaks on European affairs for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.
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