Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 3-29-2018

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Interdisciplinary Integration, Scholarship of Faith Integration


This paper seeks to explore the potential reasons for the antagonistic sentiments that are held by many Protestant evangelicals, in the United States, towards the European Union. The possible causal factors include the following:

1) The legacy of anti-internationalism among evangelicals, dating back to the debate over American membership in the League of Nations almost 100 years ago;

2) The level of attraction to the current wave of “populist” politics and economics;

3) The aversion of politically conservative American evangelicals to the perception of Europe as a “socialist’ continent;

4) The negative portrayal of the European Union, as an instrument of “globalism,” in widely held manifestations of American evangelical theology.

A major dimension of this paper will be an examination of the points of tangency between the preceding elements, including a consideration of the extent to which they reinforce and support one another. Does the skepticism with which American evangelicals view the European Union – and other multinational institutions – primarily stem from the application of certain theological positions that are reinforced by their political perspectives, or is it the other way around? Is evangelical antipathy towards the EU a manifestation of the recent observation by Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Director-General of the World Health Organization, that Americans who maintain that “Washington is the problem,” and Europeans who assert that “Brussels is the problem,” are essentially making the same argument? How accurate is the economic narrative that emerges from this interaction of politics and theology?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.