By P. Coupland
Britannia, Europa and Christendom brings to gentle the webs of impact linking Christian leaders and politicians and exhibits the conflicting relationships among nationwide id and Christian universalism, and among Britain as a one-time international energy, a ecu kingdom, and junior associate within the 'transatlantic alliance'.
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Extra info for Britannia, Europa and Christendom: British Christians and European Integration
Within a few weeks in 1940, the situation was transformed. As has been indicated, British Christian belief in European unity and even an ultimate federal union survived even this brutal reality-check, qualified but intact. However, the tremendous dynamism unleashed by the war was by no means spent, but rather was of a growing power and historical consequence. F. 1 With the benefit of hindsight, British enthusiasm for federalism in 1940 stands out as an aberration in the long-term emphasis of policymakers on jealously safeguarding national sovereignty.
It would have substantial powers over tariffs, currency, migration, communications and similar matters. 30 Clerical thinking on the future of international relations also took on a distinctively federalist flavour at this time. While Christians saw the nation as a providential community, they also understood nations as primarily cultural rather than political entities. Consequently, there was no automatic right for a nation to constitute itself as a state and neither was absolute sovereignty a necessary basis for international organisation.
This tended to stress that while the former was to be the ultimate judge of the morality of the actions of the State and the ends it pursued, the latter was responsible for the formulation of policy and its execution or, as Paton put it, ‘[i]t is the Church’s task to say we believe that this and this must be done. 96 Given that the workaholic Paton not only formally controlled the Peace Aims Group as its secretary, but was very much its motivating spirit and driving force, his student–mentor relationship with Toynbee gave the latter considerable influence.
Britannia, Europa and Christendom: British Christians and European Integration by P. Coupland