1930s, 1950s, Abendland Movement, Carolingian Empire, christendom, Europe, European Union, History, Holy Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Nationalism, Supernationalism, Virgil
The “Abendlanders” proposed the creation of a unified Europe, but they imagined it as an organic unity based on its shared Christian heritage, an association of “fatherlands”, reminiscent of the social order willed by God that was destroyed by the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the emergence of nation-states, and the nationalism that had resulted in the First World War. Their Europe was not merely a political and economic association but rather an ordered society giving way to “eine neue Lebensform des europäischen Menschen” (“a new way of life for European people”) and the restoration, even a genuine rebirth, of Christendom: a deep unity of Empire [Reich] and Church. The “Abendlanders” initially saw the ancient Carolingian empire or the Holy Roman Empire as their model, but they also imagined a connection with Classical Rome (Virgil) and early Christianity.
-John Carter Wood, Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe