Inventing Europe: idea, identity, reality. Front Cover. Gerard Delanty. Macmillan, – History – Bibliographic information. QR code for Inventing Europe. I{ETlllNKlNC IRTSH HISTORy (with patrick O’Mahony). Inventing Europe. Idea, Identity, Reality. Gerard Delanty. Senior LÄ›crurer in Sociology. U niversity of Liver . Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke,

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The term Occident, along with Europe, tend- ed to be used increasingly for the western half of the former Roman Empire, makingitpossible to speak of the European Occident. The notion of Europe as a geographical term became increasingly applied to the Christian parts of the West. A Theoretical Introduction This book is about how every age reinvented the idea of Europe in the mir- ror of its own identity.

Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality

He thus exhorted the ‘nations ofEurope’ to a crusade against the Turks Coles,p. These developments amount- ed to a general widening of the frontiers of Europe in the form of expansion of the Ihventing civilisation. I shall attempt to present a working hypothesis of a concept of universality that does not open itself to the Eurocentric fallacy. Pope Pius II frequently used the word Europe in the context of the Islamic advance, though the traditional notion of Christendom was more fre- The Westernisation of Europe 37 quently employed, and we find such expressions commonplace in the lan- guage of diplomacy: Muslim power spread over Anatolia.

As a hegemon Europe is a self-enclosure, a coherent subject-matter, a system of thought. Ethno-culturalism was in general focused on other reference points: It is not possible to see European history as the pro- delantg embodiment of a great unifying idea since ideas are themselves products of history. It was significant that this occurred at a time when the Latin West was also put on the defensive against the rising tide of Muslim power in Asia Minor.

Inventing Europe – G. Delanty – Google Books

The origins of Eurocenlrism. It is erroneous to regard Europe as mere- ly a region for the simple reason that it means different things to different people in different contexts. What we need to know more about is exactly how Europe became established as a reality for knowledge – a cultural idea – and how it subsequently lent itself to power. In 4 1 0 Rome itself was sacked by the Goths, and in the sixth century Justinian, the eastern emperor, failed in his bid to recover the western parts of the empire.

Chapter 9 is addressed to the implication of the collapse of the Cold War consensus for the idea of Europe. Until the late fifteenth century the idea of Europe was principally a geo- graphical expression and subordinated to Christendom which was the dom- inant identity system in the West. But the notion of the Occident had another and more important meaning in Antiquity: As a phjlbsophy prhistory. For Plato in The Republicp. It is interesting to observe that the territories unit- ed by Alexander eventually fell under Byzantine rule and only in later cen- turies ceased to be regarded as the essence of ‘European’ culture.


The nexus of this discourse is the West-East dualism and the corresponding counler-factualism of an ‘usV’them’ polarity.

In other words, then, ‘European’ identity, as an cthno-cultur- al and political project, preceded the formation of the idea of Europe as such. Initially the links between Rome and Constantinople remained strong because of the Muslim victories in Palestine, Syria and Egypt. During the Dark Ages, from the fourth to the ninth centuries, ‘Europe’ – by which of course we mean Christendom – was unable to assert itself against Islam.

His concept of Europe was not only that of Latin Christendom, but in the wake of the Turkish advance, it also included Greece, the Balkans and Byzantium Barraclough, In this movement the idea of Europe supplanted Christendom as the cultural frame of reference for new processes of identi- ty formation and the rise of new centres of power. My approach is also inspired by the sociology of Max Weber who attempted to provide a theory of ‘Occidental rationalism’ Schluchter, Then, with the Byzantine empire laying claim to the imperial tradition, the identity of the western half came gradually to rest on Latin Christianity.

In contrast, the Byzantine east suffered less from these set- backs and, in fact, experienced a period of growth in the fourteenth century. Liam Mullins rated it it was amazing Jan 22, While the notion of the Occident referred, broadly speaking, to the wider Greek world, the idea of Europe was predominantly geographical. Paperbackpages. Nothing could alter the fact that Christendom was beleaguered by Muslim power in the east in Asia Minor, in the south from the southern shores of the Mediterranean and in the west in the Iberian peninsula.

Since it is one of my central contentions that the idea of Europe in the modern period never emancipated itself from the adversarial East-West nexus with its roots deep in Christendom, a considerable amount of space will be devoted to an analysis of the early history of the idea.

One could even go so far as to argue thai there is a similar- ity between present-day experiments with European identity and late nine- teenth century attempts at consciousness-raising by means of a social imperialism and jingoistic nationalism. Above all there is a need for it to be linked to a new politics ofcolleetivc responsibility based inbenting post-national citizenship. The latter arc closer to ethical principles and can invemting to be uni- r versalisablc in the sense that we can expect them to be of binding force V I Habcrmas.

The thesis I should like to propose, then, is that it is important that the idea of Europe be separated from Universal ethical validity claims disguised as an essential ist ethno-culturalism.

What is therefore important inventting that it be disengaged from the stale Uradition if it is to be used as a normative idea and a basis for rational collec- tive identities in the modern polity.


This is not unlike what Anderson invenfing called an “imaginary community’ to describe the national ideal. From the tenth century onwards in the wake of the break-up of the Carolingian empire the restored Roman empire, under Otto I, shifted to Germany and away from the east Franks.

With the consolidation of the idea of Europe – which I place at the late fifteenth century – 1 seek in Chapter 3 to relate this new cultural model to the emerging forms of European identity and their burgeoning geo-political realities.

It was out of this feud that t the idea eurkpe Europe began to take on the increasing coherence of a cultural frame of reference for the northern princes. This possibly may have been because Delanth culture after Alexander the Great was no longer the property of the Greeks.

Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality by Gerard Delanty

While the Germanic tribes were undermining the empire from the north, the Persians were attacking from the east. Until the tenth century ‘Europe’ was less than one third its present size since the entity it designated did not include the northern regions. Sicily had for long been a crossroads of the two civilisations and it was from there that many inventinf entered the two worlds. The symbol of the crusaders was the transnational symbol of the cross, not a national emblem, and they were known as ‘the army of God’ or ‘the host of God’ Bartlett, This is because the idea of Europe, since it became an institutionalised discourse in early modern Europe, served as a kind of legitimation for the politics of the secular and territorial state.

The new idea of Europe was institu- tionalised in religious institutions and brought about an ideological transfor- mation of Rome into Europe.

With respect to the notion of ‘European unity’ I shall be arguing that the critical and self-examining traditions in European culture have in fact rarely appealed to eyrope idea of unity as their normative standpoint – the exception ,’ here being anti-fascist resistance.

Luther, too, had hoped that Latin Christendom would be able to heal its self-inflicted injuries and take up he mission of the cross against the Muslim infidels.

It is unlikely that a short book of this nature can achieve more than assisting in the formation of new terms of critical debate. The prob- y lem that this presents for the idea of Europe is not whether universal ethical principles exist, but ingenting they are embodied in European culture.

One of the central characteristics of Europe as inventlng geo-political entity is the process in which the core penetrated into the periphery to produce a power- ful system of control and dependency.