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Political and Civilizational Aspects of European Identity

Tuesday November 17, 2009, at 14:00
Seminar Room - Ground Floor IBEI
Peter Katzenstein
With political controversies raging over issues such as the wearing of headscarves in schools and the mention of Christianity in the European Constitution, religious issues are of growing importance in European politics. In the volume Religion in an Expanding Europe, Byrnes and Katzenstein analyze the effect that enlargement to countries with different and stronger religious traditions may have on the EU as a whole, and in particular on its homogeneity and assumed secular nature. Looking through the lens of the transnational religious communities of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Islam, they argue that religious factors are stumbling blocks rather than stepping stones toward the further integration of Europe. All three religious traditions are advancing notions of European identity and European union that differ substantially from how the European integration process is generally understood by political leaders and scholars.