The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without Godby George Weigel
Why do Europeans and Americans see the world so differently? Why do Europeans and Americans have such different understandings of democracy and its discontents in the twenty-first century? Contrasting the civilization that produced the starkly modernist "cube” of the Great Arch of La Défense in Paris with the civilization that produced the
Why do Europeans and Americans see the world so differently? Why do Europeans and Americans have such different understandings of democracy and its discontents in the twenty-first century? Contrasting the civilization that produced the starkly modernist "cube” of the Great Arch of La Défense in Paris with the civilization that produced the "cathedral” of Notre-Dame, George Weigel argues that Europe’s embrace of a narrow secularism has led to a crisis of morale that is eroding Europe’s soul and threatening its futurewith dire lessons for the rest of the democratic world.Weigel traces the origins of "Europe’s problem” to the atheistic humanism of the nineteenth-century European intellectual life, which set in motion a historical process that produced two world wars, three totalitarian systems, the Gulag, Auschwitz, the Cold Warand, most ominously, the Continent’s de-population, which is worse today than during the Black Death.And yet, many Europeans still insistmost recently, during the debate over a new EU constitutionthat only a public square shorn of religiously-informed moral argument is safe for human rights and democracy. Precisely the opposite, Weigel suggests, is true: the people of the "cathedral” can give a compelling account of their commitment to everyone’s freedom; the people of the "cube” cannot.Can there be any true "politics”any true deliberation about the common good, and any robust defense of freedomwithout God? George Weigel makes a powerful case that the answer is "No,” because, in the final analysis, societies are only as great as their spiritual aspirations.
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Meet the Author
George Weigel, a Roman Catholic theologian and one of America's leading commentators on religion and public life, is the author of the acclaimed The Courage to Be Catholic, the international bestseller,Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II, and numerous other books that include The Truth of Catholicism and The Final Revolution. Now a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he holds the John M. Olin Chair in Religion and American Democracy, Weigel writes a weekly column, "The Catholic Difference," that is syndicated to more than forty newspapers around the United States. He is an NBC consultant on the Vatican and appears regularly on network and cable television programs as well as national and local radio. Weigel lives with his wife and their three children in North Bethesda, Maryland.
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