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Stadler, Beda M.

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Weltwoche - Switzerland | 01/12/2010

Beda Stadler on Europe's non-Christian culture

The European 'guiding culture' is based more on Greek and Roman values and less on Christianity, writes Beda M. Stadler, a professor at the University of Bern, commenting in the weekly Die Weltwoche on the Sarrazin debate: "Let us measure Christian culture against reality, the material goods it has created and, perhaps as Europe's most important cultural asset, by the accumulation of scientific findings. After the Assyrian dawn of mankind the high cultures of the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans followed, each of these cultures attaining a higher level of cultural achievement. And what came then? A cultural void that lasted a thousand years. The Christians were masters in copying from previous cultures. Even today the odd temple frieze beautifies an ugly church façade. Compared with the cultures that preceded them the first thousand years of Christianity were a disaster that only ended with the Enlightenment. So-called Christian cultural assets emerged only thanks to the new secular values, based on science and philosophy, which still define our lives today. Europe's guiding culture therefore continues to rely on the values of the early Occident, such as Greek philosophy and Roman law, rather than Judaism and Christianity."

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