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dijous, 26 de maig de 2016

La vía romana a la construcción de Europa

Entrevista a Rémi Brague, profesor emérito de árabe y filosofía de la religión en la Sorbona. Ha escrito numerosos libros, entre ellos: 'Cultura excéntrica: una teoría de la civilización occidental' (2009); y 'La sabiduría del mundo: la experiencia humana del Universo en el pensamiento occidental' (2004).

SP¡KED.- One of your most important insights into the meaning of Europe is the centrality of ‘la voie Romaine’, and your idea of ‘secondarité’. Could you explain how that Rome’s sense of its inferiority to Hellenic culture has proved so productive for the development of Europe?

Brague: I am not especially keen on the Romans of history. They built a ruthless empire, albeit one no worse than any other empire, and even better than some. But they did have the great merit of inventing law and a citizenship grounded not on race, language, family ties or whatnot, but on merely juridical principles. For me, however, their greatest merit consists in having realised they were no match for the cultural achievements of the Greeks, and then having the courage to sit at the Ancient Greeks’ feet and learn. This provided Europe with a practical version of a theoretical truth: what is mine is not necessarily better than what comes from elsewhere. We have to be ready to accept foreign goods and to prefer them to our own traditions. Hence, we should be curious and keep an eye on other cultures that might have something to teach us. This same attitude was to be found and proved fruitful many centuries afterwards, when America was discovered, and when ancient languages of India, Egypt, Mesopotamia and so on, were unearthed and deciphered. All this happened earlier than the colonial adventure, and it happened independently from it.
Leer la entrevista completa, aquí

La idea de Europa es demasiado importante para dejarla en manos de los políticos
SP!KED.- Europe has in Steiner one of its finest and most sophisticated advocates. But the Europe he defends is not one of bureaucrats, politicians and marketing strategists, but something else. Something at once subtler and more demanding. Made up of irreducibly unique parts, Europe is yet whole. And the beauty of Europe comes from the way it works: the whole is much more than the sum of its parts, and each individual component reflects, like Leibniz’s monad, the complexity of the whole. To conjure the ‘genius of Europe’, Steiner invokes William Blake’s notion of ‘the holiness of the minute particular’. This is precisely the essence of the European spirit: a concern for the irreducibly particular, a cultivation of that ‘prodigal mosaic which often makes a trivial distance, 20 kilometres apart, a division between worlds’. That’s why Europe is too important to be left to the politicians. As a mode of historical existence, Europe cannot be the creation of politicians. Even when they did their best to destroy it, the poor thing resisted stoically. Indeed, Europe hasn’t been less European when its nations were fighting each other to death, as Jean Renoir reminds us powerfully in La Grande Illusion. | Costica Bradatan
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