More and more frequently one reads articles analyzing the sad geo-political situation of the European Union and proclaiming its eventual dissolution. The argument usually goes something like this: the center of the union simply does not hold.
A massive Russian "spiritual and cultural center," crowned by a golden-domed Orthodox cathedral, opens its gates in downtown Paris this week, thrusting Russian religious and political outreach to the fore in one of Europe's most prestigious and influential capitals. The complex is widely seen as a grand expression of Moscow's quest to project the image of a powerful, religious Russia, and assert itself as a champion of traditional values.
I have repeatedly stated that one of the acutest cultural problems in the EU nowadays is that of a lack of cultural identity rooted in Christianity; this is largely due philosophically to a poor appreciation of historicism. To my mind, the philosopher who first alerted us to this problem was Giambattista Vico, widely considered the father of modern historicism. I’d like to offer a brief outline of his theory of history, trusting that interested readers will then pick up and read his masterpiece The New Science.
The week past in the U.S. has seen a spate of multiple killings. Moreover, incidents of road rage leading to murder are also increasing at an alarming rate. On Friday, the Eisenhower Expressway in President Barack Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago was closed for two hours in the morning because a man killed another driver and severely wounded a female passenger after an altercation. Here's the shocker: a few hours after the expressway re-opened, there was yet another road-rage killing on it.
There is a rather naive notion that the vision of a politically United Europe was born ex nihilo in 1950. The notion is naive because it loses sight of the fact that there is no such thing in history as creations ex nihilo. We stand on the shoulders of giants. It is therefore both proper and fitting to remember and celebrate those European cultural giants who, after the fall of the Roman Empire, began envisioning a United Europe.
“The more we know of the past, the freer we are to choose the way we will go.”--Christopher Dawson
In 1932 Christopher Dawson published a book titled The Making of Europe which had enormous success and established his reputation as a scholar of incredible range and erudition who could communicate with great clarity and elegance. He had previously written two other books: The Age of the Gods (1928), and Progress and Religion (1929) but this was unique.