Lecture

The Idea of Europe

Nexus Lecture George Steiner

What is ‘the idea of Europe’? George Steiner names a few essential characteristics. Europe is café culture; Europe is a landscape travelled on foot. Europe is the ever-present past: street signs refer to great names such as Descartes and Molière, commemorative plaques and monuments recall the horrors of the twentieth and earlier centuries. Europe is the inheritance of Athens and Jerusalem, at odds with each other. Europe is a unique eschatological self-awareness. But what future is there for the idea of Europe?