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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Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality

Europe thus exists as a sub-text which sets the terms for the construction of a field of representations. Identities can also lake on a pathological form when they are constructed against a cat- egory of otherness Fabian, ; Gilman, Europe then begins to shed itself of its association with Christendom and slowly becomes an autonomous discourse. When we look back into early history we find that relatively few claims were made on its behalf.

The shift to the north-west from the south-east was largely associated with the movements of the Germanic tribes. A new border emerged, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. To take an example from history.

A central concern in this chap- ter, as well as in Chapter 6, is an attempt to explain the manner in which the idea of Europe came to rest on a universalistic notion of civilisation, con- structed in opposiuon to the Orient and the conquest of nature, while the idea of the nation became more focused on the particularistic concept of national culture.

In gen- eral we may conclude that the Greeks did not always consider themselves Europeans. For over a thousand years the sycophants at Rome succeeded in maintaining the dualism of civilisation ver- sus barbarism as an antithesis between Christians and infidels.

The Carolingian Renaissance was also a ‘European’ movement. But this was a unity constituted only in confrontation and did not succeed in concealing the real divisions within the western system of medieval kingdoms. Jul 14, Ariane rated it really liked it Shelves: Most critiques of Europe of the European Union generally take European identity for granted and con- centrate on political institutions Galtung.


Scholarly and Reference Rooks Division St. I hope to avoid some of the well-known theoretical pitfalls of their works. His current research interests are European cities, global politics and collective identity.

This was to be to the long-term advantage of the West, which was able to undergo a more differentiated logic of development. Some noteworthy departures are BartlettSctlzs and Seton-Watson In other words, then, ‘European’ identity, as an cthno-cultur- al and political project, inenting the formation of the idea of Inventinb as such.

Roman ethnocentrism was focused, not on the idea of Europe, but on the eurole of Rome as the centre of the world. Liam Eeurope rated it it was amazing Jan 22, To be a Christian was to be no longer merely a Roman or an imitator of Rome but to be a member of the univer- sal Christian polity, the oecumene. Christianity extended beyond its European frontiers. Europe is as much an idea as it is a reality, but it is also a contested idea and it was in adversity that European identity was constructed as a dichotomy of Self and Other.

As the central and organising metaphor of a complex civilisation, the European idea expresses our culture’s struggle with its contradictions and conflicts. Prior to the early modern period the idea of Europe was always artic- ulated through other discourses, of which the most significant was Christendom.

Orient and Occident, then, had quite different mean- ings from the ihventing they lnventing later to acquire when the centre of civil- isation shifted westwards.

The new critical dimension it brings to debates on the limits and possibilities of a European identity will make it indispensable to those working in the area of European iventing and intellectual history. The Greek, or Byzantine, church became increasingly identified with the Orient.

Europe became identical with the notion of a Christian invwnting wealth, with the emphasis being on the north-west.

Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality – Gerard Delanty – Google Books

This state-centred model was in modern times closely inventinh to the pursuit of economic interests. So, for much of Antiquity. A geographical image that had far greater reality to the ancient and early medieval mind was that of Ethiopia, which was believed to contain the source of the Nile with which paradise was associated Baudet,p.


The task of the sociologist is to inquire into the process by which realities are constructed out of ideas and to demystify the power of symbolic names; to disentangle the complex web of interconnections by which identities become linked to relations of power. Following the ascendancy of the papacy, the idea of Rome had been broadened to include Europe with the consequence incenting a Greek was seen as a non-European and a Roman Christian a European Ullmann.

During the Dark Ages, from the fourth to the ninth centuries, ‘Europe’ – by which delxnty course we mean Christendom – was unable to assert itself against Islam.

The Muslim civilisation that emerged in the seventh century was more advanced than the cultural remnants of the Graeco-Roman civilisation dwlanty had survived the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. This was to prove an enduring distinc- The Origins of the Idea of Europe 19 tion and still remains one of the geographical definitions of Europe.

The myth of Aeneas survived into the Middle Ages in the formation of a European myth of origins: With the rise of the German empire, Europe became a more clearly defined territorial entity.

The devel- opment towards a European civilisation centred in the north-west was enhanced by the ascendancy of Charlemagne who styled himself the ‘father of Europe’ Fischer, p. This is best exemplified in the ten- sion inherent in that famous piece of political obscurantism: