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Robert Schuman: Neo-Scholastic Humanism and the Reunification of Europe

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Alan Fimister

On 9 th May 1950 Robert Schuman (1886-1963) made the historic declaration that would form the foundation of the European Community. What is seldom appreciated is the remarkable degree to which Schuman’s actions were the conscious implementation of the Neo-Thomistic project of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903). Leo sought to employ the intellectual resources of St Thomas Aquinas to achieve «the restoration, both in rulers and peoples, of the principles of the Christian life in civil and domestic society». The resolution of the Church’s difficulties with the French Republic and republicanism generally was a central goal of Leo’s programme. In the half-century that followed a series of philosophers sought to envisage the concrete conditions under which Leo’s vision could be realised. Foremost among them was Jacques Maritain (1882-1973).
Robert Schuman was a close student of Aquinas and committed to the reconciliation of the Church and the Republic. As French Foreign Minister he sought to act upon Maritain’s belief that a European federation conceived under the banner of liberty would ultimately lead to the establishment of a new Christendom.

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Preface .................................................................................................. 11 Acknowledgements .............................................................................. 13 Note on Abbreviations......................................................................... 15 Introduction ........................................................................................ 17 CHAPTER I The Social Magisterium and Supranational Society from Leo XIII to Pius XII 1. After Bonaparte............................................................................... 23 2. Faith and Morals ............................................................................. 33 3. Periodisation ................................................................................... 38 4. Thesis.............................................................................................. 43 5. Pius XII ........................................................................................... 57 6. Hyperthesis ..................................................................................... 71 CHAPTER II The Reception of the Leonine Social Magisterium, Neo-Scholastic Humanism and Supranational Society 1. Initial Reactions to the Leonine Project.......................................... 81 2. “Europe Is the Faith” ...................................................................... 94 3. Christendom and Christian Philosophy......................................... 100 4. Rejecting the Ralliement ............................................................... 106 5. Integral Humanism ....................................................................... 113 6. Etienne Gilson............................................................................... 126 CHAPTER III The Life of Robert Schuman 1. A Famous Name ........................................................................... 137 2. Lotharingia.................................................................................... 141 3. The Wilhelmine Reich .................................................................. 145 10 4. Entry into Politics ......................................................................... 152 5. Minister......................................................................................... 160 6. Imprisonment, House Arrest and Escape...................................... 163 7. The Fourth Republic ..................................................................... 165 8. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister............................................ 169 9. Schuman’s dilemma...................................................................... 179 10. Adenauer Interviews ................................................................... 181 11. Jean Monnet’s Ideas.................................................................... 184 12. Towards the Schuman Declaration ............................................. 186 13. Schuman Declaration 9th May 1950............................................ 192 CHAPTER IV “Generalised Democracy in the Christian Sense of the Word” 1. Ideas, People, Hidden Motivations and the Public Record ........... 195 2. The Common Good ...................................................................... 198 3. After the Declaration..................................................................... 201 4. Church and State........................................................................... 203 5. The Finance Minister .................................................................... 212 6. Prime Minister .............................................................................. 217 7. European Integration and National Interest .................................. 219 8. Cultural Unity ............................................................................... 221 9. Adenauer....................................................................................... 223 10. The Papacy and the Temporal City............................................. 224 11. Supranational Egotism................................................................ 227 12. Schuman in the United States ..................................................... 230 13. NATO ......................................................................................... 233 14. Men...

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