Europe and Empire

Europe and Empire

Massimo Cacciari and Alessandro Carrera

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780823267163

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

The European Union and the single currency have given Europe more stability than it has ever known in the last thousand years, yet Europe seems to be in perpetual crisis and “unshakably undecided,” so to speak, when it comes to defining its stand in the world arena. To the Asians, Europe was once the Land of Sunset, the place where exiles took refuge. Many empires had their day in Europe. In the end, however, they all bowed down to the multiplicity of ethnicities, traditions, and civilizations that have shaped the continent. Europe will never be One, but to survive as a union, it will have to become a federation of “islands,” both distinct and connected. Written between 1994 and 2012, the essays included in Europe and Empire hark back to the dawn of Europe in the light of today’s sunset. Drawing freely from Ramon Llull, Nicolaus of Cusa, Hegel, Nietzsche, Schmitt, Kojève, Hannah Arendt, and María Zambrano, Cacciari questions the juridical structure of the Roman Empire, the destiny of Christianity, and the inevitability of secularization. Cacciari’s assessment of Europe comes down to the advice: Do not resist the sunset, embrace it. Europe will have to “let go” of itself and open up to the very possibility that in a few generations new exiles and an unpredictable cultural hybridism will change (again!) all we know about European legacy. This is hardly happening today, yet the political unity of Europe is still a necessity, no matter how impossible it seems to achieve.

Table of Contents

Part I Thinking Europe

1 Thinking Europe

Massimo Cacciari

2 Europeanism

Massimo Cacciari

3 Two German Speeches

Massimo Cacciari

4 Europe or Philosophy

Massimo Cacciari

5 Europe or Christianity

Massimo Cacciari

Part II The Idea of Empire

6 What Is Empire?

Massimo Cacciari

9 More on the Idea of Empire

Massimo Cacciari

Addenda