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Arthur Koestler, European Tradition is Organic

Lecture, Vienna, March 1958

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

The Making of Europe

Despite its religious disunity, Europe retained its cultural unity, but this was now based upon a common intellectual tradition and on a common respect for Classical tradition rather than on a common faith. Latin grammar replaced Latin liturgy as a basis for intellectual unity; the scholar and the gentleman replaced the monk and the knight as representatives of Western culture. Four centuries of Nordic Catholicism and Oriental influence were followed by four centuries of humanism and Western autonomy.

Dawson, The Making of Europe


But the revolutionary humanists of the Renaissance and the hot-heads of the Reformation drew their modern inspirations from the old Hebrew and Greek texts;

the French Revolution borrowed its symbols and the titles of its state functions from the republican institutions of Rome, and the teachings of Marx himself have their archetypes and their roots in the pathos of the prophets of the Old Testament, in the Platonist elements of the philosophy of Hegel, and in the dialectical acrobatics of the school of Aristotle.

There is always something new under the European sun, but it is the organic newness of the young shoots of an old tree, nourished by its sap and its underground roots.


Cf.
 
Eliot: European Culture is One & Multicultural ! * Hegel: Stages of Freedom * Jaspers: The Spirit of Europe * Malraux: Tragic Humanism * Hugo: La Loi du Monde n'est pas et ne peut pas Ítre Distincte de la Loi de Dieu  

 

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT


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