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Philosophical and Religious Sources of Modern Culture

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Edited By Jacek Grzybowski

Europe is the community of nations which, in the favorable conditions of a small yet extremely diversified continent, took over and developed the legacy of Greco-Roman civilization transformed and enriched by Christianity. Philosophy, theology, liturgy, religion, national culture and tradition are still manifestations of this heritage. Europe is not merely a region or geographical location. It is an idea that expresses cultural and social ideals. The nature of Europeanness is not defined by race or place but by freedom and culture in the broad sense. Latin Europe created a sphere of civilization. Though ridden by contrasts and differences, not merely an organic unity was established but also a unity of a spiritual kind by accentuating and merging of values all Europeans have in common. This was also made possible by Christianity whose ethos came to pervade a multiplicity of socio-cultural phenomena.

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Rev. Jacek Grzybowski: Europe – freedom, culture, rationality – an everlasting challenge

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Europe – freedom, culture, rationality – an everlasting challenge Rev. Jacek Grzybowski Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw (CSWU) The Faculty of Christian Philosophy That which is most universal, and at the same time often least apparent, is cul- ture. It is an extraordinary phenomenon springing from the free and conscious activity of man, and yet surpassing and often indeed determining him. It is what makes man capable of independently creating works that reach beyond him, so to speak, and of surpassing level of goodness he enjoys solely on account of his nature. It is for this reason that we can say that in creating culture man is himself its first creation. It is man's culture-making capacity and activity that bring to light his power and reflection. The pre-eminence of culture however is so great, that it not only surpasses man as an individual, but is capable of begetting entire social and political systems: in a word, civilizations. Thus it is by reflecting on culture that we may find an answer to the question asked by the authors of this collection, namely, “what are the ideological and civilizational sources of mod- ernity?”. “What is Europe?” is a very old question and one that continues to pose difficulties. In spite of all the knowledge amassed about the heritage of this part of the world, the answer remains a challenge. History, however, comes to our aid, reminding us that Europe is the community of all the nations which, in the favorable conditions of a...

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