Konrad Adenauers blauwdruk voor een verenigd Europa: De redding van het christelijke Avondland (1949-1963)

In his role as German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer proved to be an important force in the process of European integration. His thinking about European unity was determined by the peculiarly German notion of Abendland (Occident). How did Adenauer’s concept of the Christian Abendland inspire his blueprint for European integration? This article shows that for Adenauer European integration was essential in order to prevent the demise of this Christian Abendland in the face of materialist ideologies such as Communism. Moreover, it evaluates existing interpretations of the Christian Abendland in Adenauer’s Europapolitik (empty rhetoric, ideological weapon, cultural foundation) and adds a fourth interpretation: the Christian Abendland as affective glue in Adenauer’s blueprint for European integration. As such, it integrates the history of ideas with the history of emotions, and shows that the emotional quality of beliefs, such as the Christian Abendland, is critical for our understanding of international politics in general, and European integration in particular.

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