Prague, Czech Republic—The former Czech minister of culture explained the spiritual background of Europe and gave a recommendation for its renewal.
Around 15 people participated in a public lecture titled “Soul of Europe,” which was given in the Peace Embassy on June 29, 2022.
The speaker was Hon. Daniel Herman, Czech minister of culture (2014-2017).
In his introduction Mr. Herman explained the meaning of the word “Europe.” According to Greek mythology, Europe was a beautiful princess. The highest god in Greek mythology, Zeus, fell in love with her. He kidnapped her and brought her to the island of Crete. Our continent was named after her.
Mr. Herman explained that the spiritual background of Europe comes from antiquity, Greek philosophy, Judaism and Christianity. In the year 800 AD the emperor Charlemagne was anointed by the pope and gave a clear signal to build up Europe on the Christian foundations. Afterward Christianity spread very quickly throughout Europe. Fourteen Czech lords were baptized and received Christianity in 845 AD. Based on this, the statehood was built up rapidly.
Christianity developed schools, universities, charities and contributed to the improvement of human life. The heart of Europe and Christianity, Mr. Herman said, is: Love brings unification.
During the 17th century deep foundations of Europe in politics, economy and ideology were being established. However, at the end of the 18th century the French Revolution derailed the natural course of European development. Later, Napoleon destroyed the European political and social system of the time.
The first World War shattered European values. The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 destroyed the legal order of a state.
The national states did not solve the problem of nationalism. Later Bolshevik nationalism and German national socialism emerged.
After the second World War there was a big effort to restore European values, but Europe became divided by the Cold War. In the communist countries there were resistance movements—in East Germany in 1953, in Hungary in 1956, and in Czechoslovakia in1968—but all of them were crushed.
After the fall of communism in 1989, a new hope for Europe emerged. Mr. Herman concluded by stating that we need the vertical dimension and we need to come back to the roots of Europe and renew the soul and heart of Europe again.
To watch a recording of the event: