Chapter 17 Confessing Christ in ‘Christian Europe’: The Death of the Church as a Theological Response to Populism

In: The Spirit of Populism
Joseph Sverker
Search for other papers by Joseph Sverker in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



Christianity’s checkered relationship with power and politics in Europe is complex and paradoxical. Today, right-wing populism is increasingly using a Christianist rhetoric. Its refences to Christianity conjure up a ‘Christian Europe’ over and against a ‘Muslim other.’ At the same time, research shows that church attendance can ‘immunize’ churchgoers against right-wing anti-immigration attitudes. In this chapter, this paradox between Christianism and the Christian immunization against Christianism is explored from a christological perspective, drawing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. How is the church to confess Christ in Europe today when Christianity itself is used as a means to demarcate and denigrate ‘the other’? The uncomfortable answer from Bonhoeffer’s Christology is to be ‘for’ the other in a radically Christ-like way. This Christ-like way might even call for the death of the church.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

The Spirit of Populism

Political Theologies in Polarized Times

Series:  Political and Public Theologies, Volume: 1


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 130 41 3
Full Text Views 5 2 1
PDF Views & Downloads 9 5 1