Renovatio is a Christian conservative think tank whose sponsor is the Augsburg-based St. Michael Society.
Renovatio advocates the renewal of Europe in the spirit of its Western tradition. We believe in the future of this tradition and know of its power to inspire the cultures of Europe to ever higher works. In the crises of our time, we take responsibility for the heritage handed down to us so that it may continue to flourish in the centuries to come. We serve the common good by strengthening its bearers and keepers and by confronting the intellectual forces that challenge it.
To fulfill its mission, Renovatio performs the following tasks:
- Understand the crisis of European civilization: Renovatio analyzes the existential challenges facing the communities of Europe. Our intention is to show what is at stake in the current situation, but also what major tasks it implies for the individual.
- Finding answers to this crisis: Renovatio elaborates impulses for overcoming the crisis of Europe. To this end, we tap into the ideals and concepts that can give European communities and their institutions the strength to endure in times of crisis and to gain new vigor.
- Strengthening the Preservers of Europe: Renovatio trains young leaders to take responsibility in the crucial arenas of Europe’s crisis and to make an impact by serving the common good in order to give permanence to our civilization and lead it to new flourishing.
A culture lives from its bond with the spiritual forces that created it. This bond must be constantly renewed and sometimes defended because, in addition to the life-giving forces, there are also destructive spiritual forces that live out of the denial of the natural law order, strive for its dissolution, and make use of false, utopian promises to this end.
In Europe, the Western synthesis of Greek, Roman, Jewish and other impulses, formed by Christianity, has produced in a three-thousand-year process a culture whose core is the Christian ideal of service to others. For centuries this culture has been challenged by an anti-culture, which manifests itself in ever new forms, and which is nourished by the destructive spiritual forces mentioned above. Especially in the past decades, most of the supporting institutions of culture and polity in Europe have failed in the task of effectively countering these forces. The remaining cultural substance that was supposed to contain these forces is eroding, and cultural knowledge about how to create and maintain resilient and sustainable communities is increasingly being forgotten. As a result, Europe is facing radical cultural and societal upheavals that already have crisis-like features, and that may lead to serious dislocations in the future.
In this situation, it is more important than ever that individuals decide to act as bearers and preservers of Europe’s heritage and to stand up for it vigilantly, firmly in faith, bravely and strongly. In the face of the challenges ahead, Europe’s communities will urgently need this heritage, which has proven itself in numerous crises over the centuries and millennia, for the strengthening and renewal of their cultural foundations and the corresponding service of the guardians of this heritage. This is especially true for secular, liberal communities, because they are based on cultural foundations that they cannot create or maintain themselves.
Renovatio’s work is guided by the following guidelines:
- The foundations of our work are the Christian image of man, the principles of Christian social teaching, the doctrine of natural law, the Christian mandate to serve the common good, and the Western tradition of thought.
- Our work is based on the idea of confessional ecumenism. Representatives of all major Christian denominations participate in Renovatio.
- Through international networking, we promote European unity and international understanding based on shared cultural and religious heritage.
- Our work is fundamentally independent and non-partisan.