Denmark: Justitia et Pax, debate on “Europe at a Crossroads” in Copenhagen

Even the Danish Justice and Peace Commission will reflect on the destiny of the European project, as part of the concerted effort that Justice and Peace Europe is making in 2017 on the theme of “Europe at a Crossroads”. Copenhagen will therefore host a public debate about Europe on 6 November, introduced by the reflections of Nick Spencer, of the ecumenical think tank Theos, and of Danish scholar Bjoern Thomassen. Discussion will focus on “Democracy and Welfare”, Maria Hammershøy, a member of the Commission, told SIR news agency. The first speaker will have the task of providing “a historical and political perspective on the role of Christianity in Europe and in the modern welfare state”. “The way in which Christianity until a short time ago has marked the values of society has been fundamentally top-down”, Nick Spencer has recently argued; “this model is not yet over, but I think that a most suitable model for the 21st century will be starting from the bottom and from practice (instead than from rhetoric): local examples of churches that ‘do good things’ and ‘live well’ could have the power to attract and involve others”. Thomassen then will offer his insights into the “relationship between Christianity and democracy in modern Europe, the crucial development that took place in the 40s and 50s and the importance it has today”, to show that “in many countries and at times of political crisis, Christianity has been a source of great inspiration for thinkers and democratic movements” and not a threat or an obstacle.