Research Training Group: "The Christian Churches and the Challenge of 'Europe'"The research training group examined reactions in the process of European unification, as well as the repercussions and activities that the process gave rise to in the area of the churches. The project also focused on the efforts of the churches to insert religious concepts of values into the political processes.
By directing its attention at the churches, the research training group "The Christian Churches and the Challenge of 'Europe'" (IEG and Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz) expanded the political perspective in order to analyse the tensions between the secular idea of "European unification" and the efforts of the churches to assert themselves in this process and to insert their values into the process. The efforts of the churches to bring religious understandings of values into the political processes occurred before the backdrop of the crisis experiences of the Second World War, the Holocaust and the totalitarian regimes, as well as the rapidly proceeding disintegration of the European colonial empires. The research programme with its connected dissertations was divided into three focuses:
- The churches and the discourse on Europe – how the churches positioned themselves in the inter-war period and since the Second World War
- The public sphere and spaces of action: paths – media – actors
- Church and societal responsibility in Europe and in the world: values and ethical concepts
The research-training group, initiated by the Mainz University and the IEG and supported by the DFG, reached its conclusion after a nine-year duration. At a conference held on this occasion on 14.-16. February 2018, highly qualified speakers and a public audience discussed the “Position of the church on the current foundations of Europe”.
The interdisciplinary and international research-training group promoted 24 PhD students, as well as 4 postdocs. In addition to the thesis papers, three publications titled “Die europäische Integration und die Kirchen” (part of the series “Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für europäische Geschichte” by the Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht publishing house) record the results of the research.