Germany and Europe are facing numerous critical challenges. The Renovatio Institute promotes an understanding of these challenges and strengthens the resilience of church and society towards them, in order to contribute to the continuity of the Christian-Western heritage in Europe.
To fulfil its mission, the Institute shall carry out the following tasks:
- Analysis of the situation of European societies with a focus on religion, politics, culture, society, economy, social affairs, integration, demography and domestic security from a Christian perspective;
- Development of intellectual assets which can contribute to strengthening the cultural resilience of European societies;
- Identification of approaches and strategies to address the challenges identified on the basis of Christian social teaching;
Christian social teaching defines the common good as the main goal of political action. Cultural continuity is of particular importance in this context, since culture defines the identity of a society. Cultural resilience is the characteristic of a culture that enables it to overcome critical challenges and thus to maintain its continuity.
The Institute serves the common good by contributing to the preservation and renewal of its cultural foundations and by drawing on the richness of the heritage of Christian thought to find answers to the challenges facing this heritage and the cultures based on it.
The Institute also seeks answers to those critical questions that other actors often refuse to adress, thus leaving the field of public debate to the followers of utopian and radical ideologies. In this context, the Institute’s main concern is to formulate Christian contributions to the great debates of our time that are also understood by a secular society.
In addition, the Institute seeks to identify aspects of the Christian heritage that have proved to be conducive to resilience in the face of critical challenges, in order to strengthen these elements of the Christian heritage in the Church today.
In a time marked by increasing polarization, the Institute seeks to strengthen the cultural centre of society and those forces that create, maintain and renew social bonds and cultural substance. To this end, the Institute supports all actors who work for the continuity of the Christian heritage and for cultural renewal in the spirit of Christianity. The Institute’s activities will be focused on the German-speaking countries initially.
What is cultural resilience?
Cultural resilience is the ability of a culture and the society based on it to overcome the existential challenges it faces. This resilience is the result of actively nurturing elements of culture that give it resilience. Such elements include the religious foundations of this culture as well as the cultural elements that have proven themselves to be valuable over long periods of time.
The leadership team of the Institute consists of members of the St. Michael Society, which is the supporting association of the Institute. The Institute is managed according to the principle of collegiality. The Institute is organised in a decentralised manner and is financed exclusively by membership fees and donations from private individuals. It consists of a network of volunteers who, due to their professional background, have expertise relevant to the Institute. The work takes place within the framework of specialist and project groups as well as in regional forums.
- The specialist groups follow developments in areas relevant to the Institute’s work with the aim of collecting and processing the best ideas and thoughts. In addition, the specialist groups analyse social events and developments from a Christian perspective. The results of their work are processed in the form of publications.
- The Institute’s project groups deal intensively with individual issues, for which they prepare events or publications.
- The Institute’s regional forums are to be established starting in larger cities in the German-speaking parts in Europe and will serve as a forum for exchange between the Institute’s contributors and other people who are concerned with questions of Christian cultural renewal in Europe.
The Institute also has a scientific advisory board. Its tasks are to advise the management of the Institute with regard to the definition of focal points of activity as well as to provide scientific support and review the work of the Institute.
The work of the Institute is governed by the following guidelines:
- The intellectual foundations of the Institute’s work are the Christian idea of man, the principles of Christian social teaching, natural law, the Christian mission to serve the common good, and the Western tradition of thought.
- The work of the Institute is based on ecumenism, i.e. dialogue and collaboration between different Christian denominations. As Christians, all participants are united by a bond that is stronger than any ideological, national or other differences. Through international networking, the Institute promotes European unity and international understanding based on the shared Christian heritage.
- The Institute contributes to the cultivation of the Western Christian tradition, which has created and passed on a great heritage over the centuries. Secular societies are particularly dependent on this heritage, because they are based on cultural foundations which they cannot create or maintain themselves. Through its work, the Institute also seeks to provide a service to such societies.
- The Institute and its work are non-partisan.
The institute was founded in 2019 and is based in Augsburg, Germany. The institute is supported by the St. Michael Society. The members of the Institute currently come from all major Christian denominations. Participation is open to all people who identify with the Christian-Western heritage of Europe. The geographical focus of the Institute’s activities are the German-speaking parts of Europe, but the contributors also come from other parts of Europe and the world. Among the supporters of its work are not only Christians, but also people who support Europe’s Christian heritage because of its cultural significance and who are committed to its preservation.