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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA ORTHODOXA - Issue no. 1 / 2008  

Authors:  RADU PREDA.
  Abstract:   Christianity and the Limits of Europe. A socio-theological Approach. The social, political, economic, and cultural unification of Europe is a huge challenge on the map of the world. The challenging aspect originates in the historical fact that it is precisely this continent that has undergone secessionist and conquest battles, rival dynastic empires and fierce ideological concentration camps for centuries in a row until less than twenty years ago. The successive dynamics of the political geography have brought about as many mutations on the European religious-cultural map. Several times in the past and at present, the theological borders have stressed the political and cultural ones, the mutual exclusion of confessions from Heaven, thus increasing the fights over the terrestrial empires. All these have strengthened the perception of a Europe split grosso modo into a Catholic-Protestant area and an Orthodox one, which was less European. Once the enlargement of the EU towards the East and the beginning of negotiations with Turkey, the issue of the limits of Europe has been placed in a new syntax, yet in an older historical context. Of course, this fact triggers theological thinking, too. The present survey intends to respond, although partially, to a series of questions dominating the current public debate that will probably make up a part of the future agenda: What Europe is not? Where does Europe start and end? What is the meaning of the form “Eastern Europe” and what role does the Orthodox Church play as a massive presence on both sides of the current limes of the EU?  
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