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The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America,…
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The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God (vuoden 2005 painos)

– tekijä: George Weigel (Tekijä)

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314862,506 (3.67)5
Why do Europeans and Americans see the world so differently? Why do Europeans and Americans have such different understandings of democracy in the twenty-first century? Why is Europe dying, demographically? In The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel offers a penetrating critique of "Europe's problem" and draws out its lessons for the rest of the democratic world. Contrasting the civilization that produced the starkly modernist "cube" of the Great Arch of La Defense in Paris with the civilization that produced the "cathedral," Notre-Dame, Weigel argues that Europe's embrace of a narrow and cramped secularism has led to a crisis of civilizational morale that is eroding Europe's soul and failing to create the European future. Even as thoughtful Europeans and Americans wrestle with these grave issues, many European political leaders continue to insist-most recently, during the debate over a new European constitution-that only a public square shorn of religiously informed moral argument is safe for human rights and democracy. The most profound question raised by The Cube and the Cathedral is whether there can be any true "politics"-any true deliberation about the common good, and any robust defense of freedom-without God. George Weigel makes a powerful case that the answer is "No"-because, in the final analysis, societies and cultures can only be as great as their spiritual aspirations.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Conly
Teoksen nimi:The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God
Kirjailijat:George Weigel (Tekijä)
Info:Basic Books (2005), Edition: export ed, 208 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God (tekijä: George Weigel)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 7) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I would have rated it higher, but he doesn't understand the economical use of words. Good and well thought out reasoning on the future of Europe and a warning to the US. There is a place for Christian belief in this world. I would recommend Tom Kratman's novels also for a view on this subject. They are SF, but very well thought out and posit a not improbable future. ( )
  bgknighton | Jul 6, 2011 |
The best book I have read to explain Europe's decay. I especially loved the philosophical contrast between Ockham and Augustine. ( )
  ORFisHome | Jul 13, 2009 |
Nothing Weigel writes is below 4 stars in my opinion, and this is no exception. Like everything he writes, I think I'll need to read it three times before I completely grasp it all. The thesis is one that most have heard, but he lays it out perfectly: Significant parts of Europe have tried to erase the Christian foundation which allowed Europe to form and prosper and this has lead to where the continent is today and will likely continue going unless something dramatic happens. Mark Steyn's America Alone would be a great companion read to this book if you haven't already read it.

Read them both. They're well worth your time. ( )
1 ääni sergerca | Sep 21, 2008 |
Overall, this is a solid, though provoking read. Weigel does a good job of providing historical and factual information to support his thesis that Europe turning it's back on it's Christian heritage is now leading to the disappearance from Europe of a vital Western culture.

However, Weigel tends to lace his arguments with broad statements against rationalism and the age of reason without any attempt at justifying them. He also does a lot of "here's what's wrong with Europe" with examples that are not obviously any different from what's going on in the US, even though he frequently infers that the US is somehow better because it has retained it's Christian foundation.

There's a lot of valuable insight into recent Eurpoean history, and a lot that casts a light on the path the US is on as well. Just ignore Weigel's tendancy to accept as better, without evidence, the US way of doing things.

Follow this up with Bawer's "While Europe Slept" and you'll listen to the news from across the pond with a different ear.

Os. ( )
  Osbaldistone | Apr 18, 2008 |
One of the most perplexing events to many Americans in recent years was Spain’s reaction to the terror attacks of March 11, 2004. Three days later, in a reversal of what polls prior to the attacks predicted, the Spanish electorate turned out the Conservative government in favor of the Socialists, who had campaigned on a pledge to remove Spanish troops from Iraq. Thus Al-Qaeda terrorists succeeded in overturning a major European government with one well-timed attack. Why did a people with a proud heritage allow themselves to be cowed by thugs and murderers?

This is just one of the questions that George Weigel asks in The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God. The cube and the cathedral refer respectively to La Grande Arch de la Défense and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. Which culture would better protect human rights and the moral foundations of democracy—the culture of the cube or the cathedral? Weigel’s use of Notre-Dame and La Grande Arch to epitomize the difference between Europe’s Christian past and post-modern present is well taken. It seems a pity he does not elaborate on this idea by a closer examination of the two buildings, which would say much about the spirit and aspirations of their builders.

The spiritual sickness of contemporary Europe is the subject of The Cube and the Cathedral. Weigel lists a number of examples in support of his contention that Europe is spiritually sick, but it will suffice here to site only the most urgent: the continent’s demographic suicide. Why are Europeans, “healthier and wealthier than ever before, [declining] to create the human future in the most elemental sense, by creating a next generation?” Making this trend all the more ominous is the presence in Europe of 20 million Muslims, who do not seem to have bought into the European Union’s promised benefits of absolute secularism.*

For Weigel, a noted American Catholic author and biographer of Pope John Paul II, the roots of Europe’s sickness lay in atheistic humanism. Many of Europe’s elites are openly hostile to Christianity and Christians. One example will suffice to illustrate: Rocco Buttiglione, a distinguished Italian philosopher, was judged unfit by the European Parliament to serve on the European Commission because of his views on homosexuality and marriage. Buttiglione, a committed Catholic, had made it clear that as a commissioner, he would uphold and defend the civil rights of all. Nevertheless his moral convictions, not anything that he had said or done, rendered him unacceptable for any leadership role in the EU. Buttiglione has since warned of a new totalitarianism in Europe that flies under the flag of tolerance.

If atheism (in both militant and passive forms) is at the root of Europe’s spiritual crisis, clearly Christian revival would be her salvation. The author’s hero in The Cube and the Cathedral is Pope John Paul II, who offered Europe a Christ-centered humanism in direct challenge to the godless humanism of the continent’s elites. If Weigel sees any cause for optimism in Europe’s present predicament, it is the extraordinary affinity John Paul II had with young people and the spiritual seeds he planted in a new generation of European youth. Since the future of Europe depends on whether or not her people reconnect to their ancient faith, one wishes Weigel had devoted more space to exploring the influence of individuals and communities in Europe who are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

To return to the question posed in the first paragraph, the Spanish voters made a rational decision. A nation with a birthrate of 1.1 children per woman is going extinct, and why would anyone fight for a country that will disappear during the next century? As for the author’s rhetorical question as to which culture (Christian or radical secular) will best protect human rights and democracy, unless Europe undergoes a profound spiritual change as to what constitutes a fulfilling life, its future will be senescence and colonization by Islam. Given the riots of Europe’s disaffected Muslims this past fall and winter, the future of human rights and democracy does not appear bright under the radical secular option.

*In a recent poll, 40% of British Muslims favored the introduction of sharia in the United Kingdom, and 20% sympathized with the “feelings and motives” of the July 7 London bombers.

Published in Regent University Library Link, March 2006 (http://www.regent.edu/lib/news-archives/2006_03.cfm#book) ( )
  eumaeus | Sep 19, 2007 |
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Why do Europeans and Americans see the world so differently? Why do Europeans and Americans have such different understandings of democracy in the twenty-first century? Why is Europe dying, demographically? In The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel offers a penetrating critique of "Europe's problem" and draws out its lessons for the rest of the democratic world. Contrasting the civilization that produced the starkly modernist "cube" of the Great Arch of La Defense in Paris with the civilization that produced the "cathedral," Notre-Dame, Weigel argues that Europe's embrace of a narrow and cramped secularism has led to a crisis of civilizational morale that is eroding Europe's soul and failing to create the European future. Even as thoughtful Europeans and Americans wrestle with these grave issues, many European political leaders continue to insist-most recently, during the debate over a new European constitution-that only a public square shorn of religiously informed moral argument is safe for human rights and democracy. The most profound question raised by The Cube and the Cathedral is whether there can be any true "politics"-any true deliberation about the common good, and any robust defense of freedom-without God. George Weigel makes a powerful case that the answer is "No"-because, in the final analysis, societies and cultures can only be as great as their spiritual aspirations.

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