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THE RELIGIOUS-PHILOSOPHICAL DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

Latin West and Orthodox East: different history of corruption - one
dramatic challenge on the threshold of the IIIrd Millennium of Christ

Culture in Oswald Spengler's interpretation - a product of human spirit, as well as any concept has a philosophical foundation underneath and reflects a certain perception of one's own place and role in the world history.

What are the basic religious-philosophical foundations of the European culture - these religiously sanctioned, hence, absolute ethic parameters of Christian culture? These are the sharp distinction between good and evil and the free will - the gifts of The Holy Spirit. This is the idea of the uniqueness and supreme value of a human being granted an immortal soul over any material or manmade product no matter how precious it were and the ethic equality of human beings. These basic assumptions do not allow to use consciously human life for any purpose to use human being as means for another human being, and subjects the emperor and the servant to the Final Judgement according the same criteria.

These values gave birth to Christian culture that produced the unique human achievement in all spheres remarkable not only for its unprecedented scale and diversity but for its universal ethic and moral integrity. The interpretation of supreme power as service developed a different perception of the rights and obligations of the ruler who at least in the doctrine became an incarnated duty and ethic ideal contrary to the ancient quod licet jovi non licet bovi. The idea of identity of sin and crime became the ethics of legal conscience and corpus lei as following the moral judgement of religious canons. In the economics the ethics of sufficiency - not profit determined the accepted incentives for labour and riches - forbidding usury as in The Scripture.

The artistic conscience gave birth to the canons of art and literature - beauty and ugliness, harmony and distortion, melody and cacophony, elegance and bad taste, etc. - all proclaiming and proving that criteria of good and evil in terms of art and culture - are not relative. It is the painful passionate struggle in the human soul of its free will between good and evil that produced the great European culture with hero as the incarnated duty. It is the ardent desire to express this fight that produced the diversity and riches of genre and style. Where was the apogee and what is the reason of the rise and decline of culture along with "progress" and with more Freedom? What was Renaissance contrary to the common beliefs?

Renaissance as being "progress" certainly brought Western thinking more to materialistic terms and declared the autonomy of a human being from God thus affecting the perception of freedom. After the Enlightenment through attributing more and more importance to the outer tangible aspects of freedom - one of the most important and precious but delicate categories of Christian perception of the human individual and unique personality - the liberal philosophy gradually neglected the metaphysical criteria of inner freedom. Hence, it was inevitably loosing the quest for the spiritual highs and ideal still inherent to the early humanism. Liberal thinking was gradually betraying the features of some third-estate libertarianism - the creature of the Reformation and the usurer himself, the latter becoming the graft dominating in the hybrid.

While emptying his own soul the individual was idolising his earthly nature. The idea of human likeness in relation to God was distorted to the equality. The most admired character of the Renaissance and Enlightenment was the legendary Prometheus challenging God. The theme was explicitly perfected by young twenty four years old J.W.Goethe in his "Prometheus":

"Bedecke deinen Himmel, Zeus, mit Wolkendunst
Und Řbe, dem Knaben gleich, an Eichen dich und Bergesh÷h'n
Muss mir meine Erde doch lassen steh'n,
und meine HŘte die du nicht gebaut 'st...
und meinen Herd, um dessen Glut du mich beneidest!".

- This ideal of material comfort becomes the sace of modern man...

The focus on outer freedom inevitably emphasised and romanticised the material tangible needs of an individual, while inducing a scepticism towards the highest values - religious, national, honour, love, sacrifice - all of which become relative leading to the relativism of good and evil - what Dostoyevsky called the loss of responsibility for the destiny of the world. The alienation emerged to become a subject for the Western philosophy and eventually the main dimension of the European culture.

But it had not appeared before the post-Renaissance individual lost the metaphysical links of his divine soul. The first manifestations can be found in J-J. Rousseau.

The XX century promoters of the liberalism declared "the absolute sovereignty of views and inclinations in the life of a human individual no matter how specific it were" (HAYEK 1990). That statement is an obvious departure from the basic Christian notion of the inherent sinfulness of human nature surmountable solely through relentless and conscious spiritual ascetic effort, comprising first and foremost a voluntary taming of one's own pride - "Blessed are the poor in spirit...(MAT.5.3)

The result of the loss of absolute criteria for good and evil, for beauty and ugliness, for canons was: beauty, harmony - norm are declared commonness and boredom. Distortion, deviation from the norm - is sophistication... There is no more indecent - that is, immoral behaviour- it is only incorrect - this word contains no absolute moral judgement, its meaning is relative. "Free individual", totally enslaved by his own pride and flesh, professes nihilism to all traditional values, narcissism for soul and hedonism for body.

The Orthodox Russia was hardly part of post-Enlightenment West European civilisation, which rested more and more on Cartesian rationalist philosophy, the ideological stock-in-trade of the French Revolution (laissez passer - laissez faire) and the Protestant ethics of incentives for labour and the attitude to wealth. Dostoyevsky's ethics, which shook the world, was and could not be but a product of Orthodox consciousness with its primacy of moral over rational and political categories. W. Schubart analysing the difference between the West-European - "Roman- Germanic" and Russian type of conscience found very interesting analogy - the Western Prometheus individual and Russian St.John's man.

These two types were liable to different temptations... still of the same idea of an Earthly paradise.

At the XVIII century the Orthodox Russia was still rejecting usury, and still lived more "by truth", not by positive law, where the law was still following the religeous canon because sin was regarded as crime. While the Western liberal perception of liberty dwelled mostly on the question "freedom from what?", the Orthodox Russia continued to cherish more the inner freedom inseparable from the question - "freedom to do what?".

It was the eschatological aspect of Christianity that manifested itself at its strongest in the Russian Orthodox world perception. A very honest researcher of Russian conscience S.Graham compared the West and Russia to Martha and Mary. He also concluded that even at the threshold of the XX century "the Russian Christianity was still focused on the ideal of Kingdom of God" and "the simple people were convinced that our mortal life was not the real life and the material force was not the real one" (GRAHAM 1915, 111). Many serious Western scolars concluded in their studies of Russian culture of XIX century that Russians especially simple masses did not loose yet the methaphysical links with The Other World, while they combined realism with mysticism, worshipped The Cross and valued high the experience of sufferance and repentance.

It is a purely Russian feature identifiable through the whole of the Russian society from aristocracy to peasants - despise towards meschyanstvo - the petty-bourgeois spirit including both the entrepreneur's zeal and ideal of an average level of stability and comfortable home. A Russian tended to unconsciously reject and detest "moderateness and accuracy" as features of some "collective mediocrity, degradation of any bright individuality" (LOSSKI 1957, 50-51). This attitude was equally shared by militant liberal westernisers - like A. Herzen and by so-called slavophils and traditionalists, by Dostoyevski and L.Tolstoi. It is worth mentioning that even after 70 years of Communism there is still no term an average Russian in sociology, because he does not exist.

S.Frank asserted that "A Russian soul was wholly imbued with religiosity" (FRANK 1926). N.Berdyayev underlined that the "Russian idea" was not an idea of an affluent culture and mighty kingdom, Russian idea was an eschatological idea of the Kingdom of God" (BERDYAYEV: 1946, 144). And Saint Seraphim of Sarov in his "conversation with Motovilov" expressed the ideal for an individual with clarity - achieving the presence of the Holy Spirit in his soul. Was it a Holy Russia? This ideal was not achievable - neither a Western Christian nor a Russian Orthodox Christian could bear the wholeness of the Message. The Western man and the Orthodox man were both apostate. What was there special in each way of apostasy?

There were inevitably special ways of sin on this path. If a Western man turned his doubt into scepticism and nihilism towards God and highest values and concentrated on achieving of a better earthly life, a Russian Orthodox man - an ardent believer also produced doubt and scepticism and eventually nihilism. It was nihilism to the whole that men did on earth. It was in this sense that Berdyayev wrote: "we are all apocalyptic or nihilists" (BERDYAYEV: 1946, 131). This was also the creature of human pride that did not tolerate its own imperfection and lost all impetus for activity in the sphere of the imperfect and doomed. "The assurance in the eventual sanctification devaluated the reality with regard to any practical activity for a Russian". He was inclined to action or service "only for some absolute ideal. Once this ideal appeared dubious or fake a Russian can display an absolute indifference or turn from an exemplary law obedience to an unbridled rebellion and beast behaviour " - wrote L.Karssavin, mentioning also that the militancy of the Russian atheism was also of a religious character (KARSSAVIN 1922, 15, 70, 58-62).

If Goethe's Faust expressed the doubts and scepticism of the Western man - Dostoyevski's Ivan Karamazov expressed the doubts and intolerance towards earthly imperfections in a Russian proud mind. Someone noted that a West European became an atheist because of self-centreness and indifference, because his arrogance did not tolerate any supreme jury. A Russian, on the contrary, lost faith because of his intolerance to the imperfections of life, incompatible in his arrogant mind with the idea of Merciful God. He, like Ivan Karamazov rejected the loving God because of one tear of an innocent child. It is the theodice and hence the monkshood that Russian atheists have been hating most. This can explain why the militantly anti-Christian and vulgar materialistic Marxism was ardently developed on the Russian soil - almost as the pseudomorphosis of religion.

Revolution as an idea was a Western creature and could be a product only of an apostate and delirious Christian mind, not of a Buddhist one. It was a Goya's phantasmagoria - a product of a human mind that had lost the link with God and out of pride could not tolerate his own and the world's imperfection - another type of nihilism. The more Christian before the fall - that is ardently believing in the apocalyptic momentary annihilation of all sins and imperfections - the more destructive in self-imposed role of a final judge and creator of a new era on human criteria... At the time of Marxism which brought revolution to the level of science - Europe was already too sceptical and too practical - too lukewarm and Russia took over.

Ironically, the criteria of ethics were declared relevant to the stage of society, to the "mode of production", the end - justifying the means. ╔galitÚ on earth ironically meant the ethical inequality for "non-historical" classes and individuals - they became means. The challenge was universal and traditional culture was first and foremost target.

The West's intelligentsia, atheist and materialist, was, in spirit, an admirer of the philosophical foundations of Marxism. Why did they sang tribute to the Great October, and did not like the USSR after the May 1945 that re-established some traditional values? They were disappointed with the USSR, that had lost the "necessary" degree of "leftness", but not with the idea of overthrowing the God-given world and hierarchy, i.e. not with the idea of revolution. The left spirit wandered from West to East and back changing his instruments when they were worn out.

The disappointed "blazing'' European intellectuals were again calling for a revolution that would be more uncompromising than the one of the Great October, since the latter had gone decadent proclaiming "bourgeois" ideals - Nikita Chrustchev's slogan "to catch up with America". Now from the "decadent" world, from the lukewarm West to the jungles went Regis DebrÚ, E. Che Guevara, Polpot - a graduate of la Sorbonne. The remainder of them demonstrated a splash of nihilism - a spiritual phenomenon of clear left nature in the New Testament sense - that characterises of all the West in social life and culture.

The student riots of the sixties were irrationally anti-etatist in nature; literature, music, theatre of the "absurd"- obviously rooted in the pre-revolution Avant-garde and revolutionary Meierhold Theatre with its openly declared goal of "an aesthetic shooting of the past". The Hippies - a passive revolution, a negation of all God's gifts, indifference to good and evil as illusion - this explaining the later popularity of Buddhism and Hinduism and neo-Paganism in the West. Finally, "new left" and "new right" - forms of the very same yearnings for planetary Utopia and revolution named by the new-rights the Conservative Revolution... Even the Western bastion of Christian tradition - the Catholic science was besieged by the leftist "theology of liberation". The long forgotten religious Christian contemplation on earthly sins and imperfections manifested both in literature and in the Catholic Church documents.

After centuries of dispute and rivalry between Latin - Gothic - Roman-Germanic spirit and Orthodox St.John's spirit, at this juncture both - post-communist Russians and the remaining true European spirit are being subjected to pressure by the "Atlantic" cosmopolitan liberal project of one world and universal human values. Why?

A characteristic feature of the branch of American ideology that produced "atlantisism" and "one world" doctrine - another (after communism) version of the universal kingdom of man - is messianism based on the providential beliefs of the puritans inspired by the Old Testament as the patriarch of the Anglo-Saxon historical science wrote.

Before A.Toynbee it was M.Weber, who had stated one of the central features of the Puritan philosophy - "a methodically rationalised fulfilment of its messianic predestination", and asserted that a true Calvinist was much more self-assured in his choseness than a devout and God-obeying Old Testament Jew. (WEBER 1994, 265-275). That is true - it was certainly not the Job in sufferance with his greatness in self-rejection in "dust and ashes" (JOB. 42.5) who inspired a true Yankee.

Weber also stated that Puritanism was the driving force of the Western society and economy. If it is so, it brings us to assume that the surrender of Europe to the Anglo-Saxon - American - political, economical and cultural domination was simply inevitable. Europe - the cradle of liberalism ironically could not be leader in its implementation. The European philosophy of state and law and ethics had under the ashes of revolutions a catholic foundation, these ethics were only amended to suit the needs of a usurer. They could not become the locomotive of the liberal economics and of an inevitable idolisation of a man without constant conflict with its own canons of the inherent human sinfulness, of the altruistic ideal of a true bearer of the Apostolic Christian legacy.

On the contrary, American puritans have been building their chiliastic human kingdom with the throne for themselves with messianic zeal, proving their "choseness" by the earthly success as J. Calvin taught. It was a clear departure from the Nine Commandments for the blessed and it was the decision and choice for power and bread.

Among Protestant beliefs Calvinism stays apart as it is not so much an apostate discriminate rationalisation of the wholeness of the Christian Message but rather it has clear roots in manichean dual world perception, where not only good but also evil is both substantial and independent and the world is not seen in three-dimension as multi-hypostasle Creation in the pan-unity. But the quest to grasp and perceive the pan-unity has marked the development of the human thought and spiritual experience from Heraklites to A.Lossev. This perception prepared humanity to be able to accept the divine mystery of the Holy Trinity. And until ratio was not separated from credo (the Cartesian cogito ergo sum) the Holy Trinity was the climax and inspiration on this path of the human world perception. (It is not without reason that this search abandoned Western philosophy right after F.Schelling to move to Russian - still religious philosophy - V.Soloviev, S.Bulgakov, P. Florensky. The Hegelian dialectics replaced metaphysics and, helas, thus substituting pan-logistic dispersion and mortification of live reality for the organist pan-unity concept) The non pan-unity conscience of the Calvinism did not attribute universal value to every soul's path and denied universal meaning of every nation historical experience.

The arrogant detest to the week and deprived in Puritan British public opinion caused the phenomenon of mass pauperisation, that turned to outcasts large masses of people in the XVII-XIX centuries. The motto of the British cultural supremacy and civilising role was the clear ideological foundation of the British colonial expansion vested sometimes in a rather elegant Kulturtragung of R.Kipling with his "White man's burden". It is worth noting that the apartheid regime of South Africa has been constructed by the Dutch (the Bures) and French Huguenots - the Calvinists, and the North American Indians were wiped out by the Puritans, who did not bother themselves with the mission to profess the Christian Truth to the "non-predestined" for Salvation. These perceptions, inter alia, also feed the American messianistic claims for leadership in the world that is regarded as province with no right to historical initiative.

West-European free will with its highly developed spirit produced one type of liberal decline in culture - alienation and egocentric self-analysis, rejection of absolute moral criteria, loss of touch with reality... The American puritan self-assurance in the predestination and their providential role of an instrument of God's Will produced another type: there was no need for sufferance between good and evil and there was no development of spirit, - hence, a civilisation without culture in Spengler's sense. What we see - is a cult of man that becomes a pagan cult of human body and panic fear before death, ageing and physical unfitness. This is not even Sparta with original system of values, but rather Rome, not Christian Rome - it is pagan Rome - parasite on Antic Greek culture. Russian post-Communist liberals - atheists and materialists are accepting this American hedonistic type of liberal way, Russia as Europe surrendering to the "Atlantic" civilisational project.

In Russia our self-betrayal led to the collapse of the whole of Russian history, while it is losing its role not only as Great Power but as a distinctive historical personality with its own spiritual search for universal ends of history.

It is a philosophical misconception that the Western liberalism is an antipode to Marxism. From a Christian point of view they are cousins, two branches of rationalist philosophy, two versions of the God-denying human kingdom. Both bring the humanity to similar result - a non-religious, materialistic, cosmopolitan world, fulfilling through different means one and the same goal: "to erase from the life of men the distinction of race, faith, hierarchy, opinion, motherland..."(DESCHAMPS 1885, v.I, 211)

The self-betrayal of Europe allows the cosmopolitan political and financial institutions backed by military force to behave like an omnipresent world government dictating the will of "His Majesty The Usurer" himself to the enslaved nations consisting of "free individuals". His earthly success is the result of all mondialistic projects, that seduced arrogant men in the West and in the East - an international fraternity of labour, an all-European home, one World with the universal human values and rights, the most cherished among them - the right to ignore the Truth...

This is already manifested in the trends of the human culture. Culture reflects the condition and status of our spirit and at the same time it affects the spirit, promoting or resisting good and evil. The de-Christening of all basic ethical dimensions of culture was the inevitable result. The rivalry between communism and Western liberalism was just a family quarrel for the throne in their "one world" - there was nothing to contest for those two Leviathans. They were luckier with the Western "Prometheus individual", than with the Russian "man of St. John". The West achieved his earthly paradise that impresses with wealth, hardly by anything else...

But it was exactly that something else that preoccupied the Western man at the time of the rise of European culture and Europe's greatness. A Russian intelligentsia liberal of the XIX century, enchanted by Gioconda's smile and Cartesian logic, by Faust's quest for cognition, who kneeled to the "libertÚ, ÚgalitÚ, fraternitÚ", would not find in the today's West anything but cabalistic data of the Inter-Net and the touch of a usurer everywhere.

This real boss of libertÚ, the destroyer of all civilisations and the grave-digger of the great European culture, managed to have smuggled under the tempting triad still unachievable without God - something he ruined everything with: laissez passer, laissez faire and later on: everything is allowed that is not prohibited. This key for interpretation enabled to separate the concept of crime from sin (Cavour's la loi est athÚe), to transform the Christian concept of freedom from the pardonable weakness to sin, from the natural human right for doubt, represented in Faust - into the right to declare identical beauty and ugliness, truth and lie, goody and sin thus seducing the man to the nihilism and cynicism of Mephisto, declaring good and evil identical...

And it is clear that such freedom lost every impetus for creative culture. The impetus was given to it by the limits of good and evil. Borderless freedom loses its distinction and is unidentifiable. Freedom without absolute parameters of good and evil comes to the entropy and total creative impotence. That is a manifestation in culture of the long established philosophical and theological truth: evil has no creative potency, it is not substantial, the definition of its pseudo-existence is negation and corruption of good.

The Western man many times protested instinctively against the de-sacrating and de-Christening of his nature, against Entg÷ttung as Friedrich Schiller put it. That produced several outbursts of romanticism in the European culture. While the real Cyrano de Bergerac had contributed to the materialistic decadence, was it not the swan song that Edmond Rostand's Cyrano cried to the petit-bourgeois world of Zola, reminding it of the never-ending quest of the human soul for an ideal... But the beauty of the world - the Creation cannot reflect in the human mind that rejected The Creator - such arrogant mind produces the "Black Square" of Malevich - this "Manifest of the Communist party" of the liberal aesthetics...

All that induces to the conclusion: it was the first millennium of Christianity, named by today's liberals as "Dark Age", that has developed and raised the human spirit to the highs. Everything the Christian world as a whole and the West as its distinctive part have enriched the world with - devotion to truth, love of unknown substance, honour, duty, family, nation, statehood and culture we owe not to the Prometheus daring.

It was the blood and sweat of St. Francis of Assisi and the tears of St. Augustine that disciplined and raised the West European spirit to the heights able to produce its great culture. "The Prometheus Individual" corrupted that spirit by pride, and after Renaissance he comes to obvious Decadence... in the one world of universal human values. It as not without reason and great spiritual and rational effort and experience that the aged J.W.Goethe at the end of his life came to the conclusion that "the one and only true and deepest dilemma of the universal and human history lied in the conflict between faith and non-believing" (SIEGMUND 1976).

Part of a modern liberal's credo both in the West and in the East is to declare that no value is precious enough and worth sacrifying human life for... It is underminig of the whole foundation of Christian culture. Inspired by the Cross Sacrifice of Our Saviour, Christians both in the West and East perceived as heroes those who gave their lives for faith, patria, duty, honour, love - metaphysical values proving the supremacy of soul over flesh...

A positivist contemplator would be sceptical about the fact, that such a world was predicted. The idea of "one world'' is infringing upon the God-conceived diverse world, where the path to Truth is built by its own, and not by a foreign spiritual experience, is destroying all civilisations - these human experiences of "nations who received the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and embodied them in their own creative acts of history" as one Russian brilliant emigre Orthodox thinker wrote (ILYIN 1992, 279-282.).

The result is: a disastrous mixture of cultures, nations, and states on an atheistic foundation - state of solution - is it the true "solve-coagula" finally coming to the real job after exercise with chemicals? According to Revelation it is exactly from that chaos that the prince of darkness will rise. The credo of the XXI c. liberal is to stay or rise above all "relative values and pieces of truth" - that is the comfortably furnished non-alignment with the ultimate fight between good and evil. It is nothing but the lukewarmth identified in the Revelation as one of the features of the kingdom of the beast: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." (REV. 3.15-16)

When Europe surrenders to the Atlantic presbyter's call for a universal post-Christian civilisation, it commits an act of betrayal to its own great Christian past and its own once great Christian culture. It is not on the liberal field that Europe as a phenomenon of culture and universal history has a chance. The liberalism with its good intentions paved the way to the "Untergang des Abendlandes".

The announced End of History (FUKUYAMA 1989) is really pending for the West, not only for Communism. This human dark anti-annunciation unconsciously revealed the immanent emptiness of liberalism lacking an inherent impetus for continuation in the universal history besides the rivalry with its debillic cousin - the communism. Also in this field, the replacement of la Saint-Empire by the Pax Americana was an eschatological inevitability - it suited better the usurer and his earthly success.

The universal sense of life for Russia and for Europe can be found only through the Christian re-perception of the universal history - the ultimate fight of alternatives - the search for the Kingdom of God or the construction of kingdom of man where the throne in the temple will not stay empty...

The features of such one world are to obvious - a "civic society" of some kind of "Homo globalis" - individuals dissociated from higher values of faith, nation, family - living by ubi bene ibi patria - that is by bread alone. These are no nations any more but the selfish mob - the okhlos, but behind the blind and arrogant ochlocracy always hides an oligarchy. This inevitable plight of the demos and distortion of its kratia were described twenty three centuries ago by Aristotle and Polybius. The type of such world oligarch is very well represented by Jacques Attali. The high-ranking World Usurer hides no more the fact that he is no less ranking philosopher and architect of the future and offers with gusto and without slightest embarrassment to the once Christian West his very real anti-utopian "Kingdom of Bank" (ATTALI 1979).

Only a nation which did not loose the Gift of the Holy Spirit, and nurtures It, can endure against the evil as metaphysical ROME. Such nations have made great history. They where not an aggregation of citizens. A true nation must be a continuous living whole in regard to its spirit, common notions of good and evil, and historical experience. Such nations regain their role as protagonists of world history and phenomena of culture. They form a united world as harmony of diversity, where the free choice between good and evil will determine the outcome.

Our future is, in the most basic sense, not the matter of successful economic reforms or successful international agreements. The Russian example should be a lesson: neither an immense territory, nor a formidable economic resources, nor even nuclear weapons alone can save from disparagement and decline. For matter without a soul is not able to do history.

As far as once great Europe is concerned, its role now reduced to the ambivalent smile of the former Camarada - now Mister Xavier Solana - no Se˝ores, Herren, Monsciuers or Gospoda allowed... This is the smile with which Rudyard Kipling's Tabaqui announced his boss' - Shere Khans' arrogant, evil and cruel will trampling upon the Law of the Jungle... This is a symbol of Pax Americana replacing not only La Saint-Empire and the Moscow - IIIrd Rome, but also all materialistic universalistic mirages of earthly paradise without God - "World Fraternity of Labour", "All-European Home", "One World".

The constructive co-operation of Russia and Western Europe may give both the powerful impulse needed at the brink of the year 2001 if it is still for us a year A.D. But Europe may have a real chance not after Russia's self-humiliating soliciting for a "fair" rated "baccalaureate" of liberalism from some IV democratic International like the totalitarian Council of Europe. Contrary, we all will endure only when Russia restores its Christian soul and there is a fruitful interaction and conjunctive conscious spiritual effort of all European ethnic, confessional and cultural constituents - Roman, Germanic and Slavic - "Latin" and Orthodox. It's time to recognise the crucial importance for the Christian world as a whole of the Russian Orthodox rampart regarding not only geopolitical but spiritual and cultural challenges of the century to come.

After the fall of the Constantinople, God released Russia from the Mongols and Russia took over trying to be "Rome". At the same time, Spain successfully and heroically fulfilled Reconquista, also trying to be "Rome" as Tirso de Molina called Toledo. Was it not the Divine mercy to the Christendom saving them from the Atlantic to the Ural offering them the All-European Home of Himself? And was it not the "libido dominandi", that St.Augustine and wise Philothei warned, that managed to corrupt us in different ways according to our different weaknesses and brought us so close to the common End...

Europe - West and East - needs new Reconquista...

Natalia Alekseyevna Narochnitskaya

V Congreso "CULTURA EUROPEA".
Pamplona, Spain,
28 Octubre - 2 Noviembre 1998

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