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Les pages présentées ici ont pour sujet l'Europe comme ensemble ; cohérent ou pas ? 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN INTERCULTURE ? Some remarks on the meaning of Europe as an example of an intercultural idea. (S. Calzone)

  • The meaning of "interculture", is it connected to the idea of Europe? What is this thing we call Europe?

    The idea of Europe spread by word of mouth from Ancient Greece. Erodoto, in the 5th century b. c. wrote that the origin of this name, Europa, was completely unknown and even now we still don't know where the name came from.The question that I would like to ask here is not about the origin of the name of Europe but it's about the meaning: What is Europe?
    The daugther of the Phoenician king Agènore was kidnapped by Zeus, her name was Europa. Is this what we mean? One of the satellites of the planet Jupiter, is named Europe too. Probably, we think of Europe in a more geographic sense, but we must consider that its borders are not well defined. Where are the bounds of Europe? Do they end at the Urali Mountain? Or at Africa?
    I'm not going to debate about Europe from a geographic or historical point of view. I would like to introduce a philosophical idea about these undefined borders. Europe could be thought of as an example of an intercultural idea. It's sufficient to have in mind that this idea came from the relationship of different cultures that were often determined by wars and trade but specifically it was the language that tied people and their customs together. Europe is the "continente antico". According to the Greeks, whoever was living outside the bounds of their given society were called barbarian. The barbarians were incapable of speaking Greek well and their different cultures and behaviours caused barriors to be developed.

    It is reasonable to think, looking at the history of Europe, that we are made up of plural identities. This plurality, within the bounds of Europe, for the most part, exists with remarkable equilibrium.Thinking in this way, it is not important to outline Europe in words of political unity (as Voltaire thought) or unity based on religion or feelings (according to Rousseau). Lets call Europe for the moment something indefinite but with specific peculiarities.

    In the "Grande Dessein" written by the Count of Sully, at the end of sixteen century, he offered up an idea of a United Europe, as a peaceful nation. The Count had seen numbers of wars and cultural conflicts that had devastated all of Europe. It is interesting to think about what inspired the Count to hope for a United Europe, governed under one law. This law could act as a guarantor of peace for all of Europe. Some later thinkers who were living in similar circumstances to the Count with economic and political uncertainty, like Leibniz, Novalis, Kant, Hugo, Zweig, among others, came to the same idea based on the general acceptance of all cultures. However, others felt that 'general acceptance' meant the right to force politically weak countries into accepting priciples and laws from stronger powers. If we think that one culture is better than another then we are making a judgement about a particular culture. I think that accepting a culture means more than making a judgement. To critique a culture is not to accuse it of inferiority. A judgement is something that assumes to know the truth but this evaluation is limited. It doesn't make any sense to talk about what is true and what is false. Accepting a culture should mean to be critical of it or to have an opinion but not to judge it.
    Cicerone, the well-known Ancient Thinker, reminds us that to judge is a very complicated thing, because what is false is often close to the truth. We must have all the elements together in order to see the whole reality of facts before we can make a clear judgement.

    If we Europeans consider ourselves a part of an inextricable ball of cultures, then it's possible for us to create a peaceful living environment where we can promote sustainable development of our society. Europe could also be a place where all the different cultures could come together and offer up their best. We can use the existing borders like points of reference. These points could be defined in both time and space and would include the cultures within the space and their different ways fo thinking. It is not important to define those borders. I like to think of the boundaries like bridges, that connect different places and people. On these bridges you can walk to America, Asia, Africa and interact with all of them freely. The boundaries become comparisons. These comparisons become places to meet and the will to accept one another becomes apparent.

    From this peaceful acceptance the idea of borders becomes mute. It's up to us to create an evironment that incites people to speak to each other. Being a European means feeling a sense of belonging to Europe and to live responsibly with the other members of the community. Being European means also to be conscious of this responsibility and to actively work towards becoming a peacemaker. Turning ruinous conflicts into a place for people to meet is the duty of a United Europe, like Count Sully envisioned many centuries ago.

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    Popoli e culture da sempre hanno i loro miti. Nessuna società a noi nota ne è priva, fra le centinaia e migliaia che hanno popolato il pianeta nei millenni; a parte, forse (ma la tesi è molto dubbia), la nostra.
    Il dubbio, si può dire, è la norma, in quanto nello studio dei miti le incertezze e i disaccordi fra gli esperti sono assai numerosi, anche più di quanto non accada nei campi (già paurosamente controversi) della letteratura e della storia delle religioni. Alcuni punti fermi si possono trovare. Il mito (che in greco vuol dire parola, discorso) è una narrazione che svolge diverse funzioni: conoscitiva, sociale, sacrale. Ma già a questo livello è possibile fare delle obbiezioni…


    Kenneth White, poète, écrivain et essayiste, président-fondateur de l’Institut international de géopoétique ( “Europe, Atlantique, culture” Texte tiré de la livraison 2005 de la brochure annuelle éditée par l’Institut international de géopoétique à l’intention de ses adhérents, Europe et géopoétique.

    D’un point de vue culturel, les relations entre la Roumanie et la France apparaissent en 1699, quand fut publié par Nicolae Milescu-Spãtaru le premier document théologique chrétien écrit en langue latine. De plus, les chroniqueurs Miron Costin et Dimitrie Cantemir (1), deux des principaux écrivains de langue roumaine, utilisent beaucoup de mots d’origine française. Les relations culturelles avec la France crurent du fait de la nécessité de faire des traductions littéraires du français au roumain et de faire une bibliothèque avec des livres français.

    Depuis les années 1980, le statut ambigu de la radio et de la télédiffusion pose problème aux Européens. Une analyse rapide des discours laisse supposer que, d’une manière générale, la Commission européenne fonde son intervention en tenant compte, plus volontiers, de la dimension matérielle de l’audiovisuel (entreprises de production, canaux de diffusion), tandis que les Etats- membres, la France en particulier, pensent leurs actions en fonction de sa dimension immatérielle (art, culture, identité). L’étude des archives nationales et de la presse fait apparaître une articulation de ces deux dimensions qui évolue au fur et à mesure des grandes négociations européennes (discussion des programmes de soutien) et internationales (GATT et AMI).
  • Des racines romaines et chrétiennes de l’Europe pour Michel Butor

    A la fin d’un entretien sur le thème de l’atlas est venue cette question :
    En ce moment, on parle beaucoup des racines chrétiennes de l’Europe. On peut admettre ces racines chrétiennes, mais il ne faut pas oublier que les Chrétiens se sont eux-mêmes basés sur les temples païens romains, donc les racines de l’Europe ne seraient-elles pas plus romaines que chrétiennes ?
    Michel Butor nous a livré une longue réponse que voici :


    Balzac a voyagé, un peu ; ce ne fut pas ce qu’on appelle un grand voyageur, mais il traversa tout de même l’Europe, une fois pour aller rejoindre Mme Hanska à Saint-Pétersbourg, une fois pour rejoindre Mme Hanska chez elle, en Ukraine (la Pologne à l’époque), à Wierzchownia. Cette Mme Hanska fit voyager Balzac ; ils se retrouvèrent à Genève, à Vienne, à Dresde.

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