Accepted Paper:

Cusanus' conceptual figure in the current European Diversity Debate  
Günther Rautz (EURAC)

Paper short abstract:

The EU institutional crisis requires a change of perspective. The concept of 'spiritus conexionis' connects diversity within a supranational identity. The paper shows how European integration process and Cusanus' figure of spirit of union can emphasize dialogue in Europe.

Paper long abstract:

Nicholas of Cusa's (1401-1464) spiritus conexionis connects diversity of specific cultures and religions within an interacting superior system. This dynamic connecting figure is an ongoing process comparable with a pilgrimage way. The infinite connections interwoven along history have created common interreligious sites. The European perception of "Unity in diversity" and interreligious symbols are tools to create meaningful social relations and social cohesion.

We are living in a historic period, in which the modern nation state to integrate diversity is no longer tenable and a new supranational system like the EU is at the risk to fail. This paper explores how European integration has managed to connect the different parts of Europe with the whole over the last few decades.

The paper is exploring if interreligious dialogue supports unity in diversity as tool that creates further harmonization and enhances legitimacy for further European integration. Does this connection among minds, cultures and religious assets have the potential to empower a common European society?

Cusanus' spirit of union unites and harmonizes the individual in a dynamic process of unification. This union does not mean a process of commingling. For Cusanus it means that the diversity of religious rites and cultures must be retained and peace founded in faith.

Panel P130
Unity in diversity? Anthropological reflections on interreligious devotion and dialogue in Europe [Anthropology of Religion Network]