'If European history is a verdant plain, then Christianity is the river which flows through it. It is a river with various sources: Judaic tradition, oriental faiths, Greek philosophy, Roman law. And it has been broadened by incoming streams over two millennia - Celtic, Germanic, Salv, Finno-Urigc culture; Islam, humanism, Romanticism - embracing and re-directing them, but also being enriched and deepened by them . . .' The failure of the European Union's Constitutional Treaty has raised serious questions about the Continent's future. Christian churches are active in this debate, as social and cultural forces with influence and outreach. But questions are also being asked about the future of Christianity itself, in a region now deeply divided between competing outlooks and visions. Rethinking Christendom explores the background to today's discussions, drawing on views and perspectives from East and West. It shows how Christianity became the essential badge of European-ness, and the universal reference point for societies drawn together by external threats and internal aspirations. While some Europeans see Christianity as a means of liberation, others view it as a barrier to freedom. This book is a plea for a realistic and informed understanding of Christianity's past, present and future role - in a region where all faiths, worldviews and philosophies can and should coexist in a mutual creative harmony. Jonathan Luxmoore is an English freelance journalist and writer, covering church- related news in Europe for Catholic News Service, Ecumenical News International, as well as The Tablet and other newspapers. Jolanta Babiuch is a Polish lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, having previously taught at the Universities of London and Warsaw, where she was a co-founder of Transparency International. The couple have four children and live in Oxford and Warsaw. Their previous books include The Vatican and the Red Flag (1999).
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