Does Europe have a common culture? We occasionally ask you what it means to be “European”, and those of our readers who do feel part of a European identity (which is by no means all of you) often mention shared values, history, and culture. It’s true that we all have Beethoven and Da Vinci as reference points, but are they uniquely European? Surely great artists are part of a shared global culture, part of humanity’s common heritage? Also, modern Europeans are probably more interested in living Hollywood celebrities than in dead composers and painters.

True, we all eat Italian food, but we also eat Indian and Chinese food. Is there anything uniquely European that binds us together culturally? Or has culture gone global in the 21st Century?

We had a comment sent in on our “Suggest a Debate” page from Anonymous, who asked what European culture was.

Historically, European identity was often associated with religious identity. The name “Europe” rarely appeared on maps in the Middle Ages, with cartographers more commonly referring to the continent as “Christianitas” (Christendom). Early proposals for common European political unity (such as those of the 15th Century Bohemian King George of Poděbrady) were justified with reference to Catholicism.

Even then, however, there were Muslims in Iberia, Orthodox Christians in the East, Jews living across Europe, not to mention the Cathars and other movements considered heretical by the Church. The Protestant reformation complicated the picture even further, making it impossible to describe the continent as a united Christendom. Instead, “Europe” became a geographic (rather than religious) idea.

Today’s Europe is even more diverse in its cultures and beliefs. Ideas and fashions from across the world meet and blend together in the melting pot of modern European life. Is there any common thread running through all of that?

What is ‘European culture’? Is there anything that binds us together culturally? Or is culture global in the 21st Century? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Kristina Savic


132 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • Bódis Kata

      Read the New Testament and you will know.

    • Jose Marcal

      I was going to answer the same but no need to repeat

    • Kung Jin

      I would say that secularism is more relevant than an outdated concept of christianity (lower case intended). Morals don’t necessarily come from any religion, as multiple European states with incredibly low percentage of ‘believers’ show.

    • Elie Awake

      Kung jin christian values dont mean to force people to be Christians its just inspired from Christianity and u can be whatever u want but still the law and social values are inspired from Christianity

    • Leonardo Monteiro

      I agree with Elie Awake – I am functionally an atheist (no belief in god), but whatever i like it or not, i am culturally christian. I observe christian holidays even by tradition, and i have the sense of christian individualism.

    • Leonardo Monteiro

      That said, I would add secularism is a key European value.

    • Δημήτρης Χαλβαντζής

      Three cities have shaped Europe, Jerusalem, Athens and Rome. All the other things, are the upper part of an inverted frustrum with these three cities, as it base.

    • Cris Dracou

      Bódis Kata Christian religion is the Christ,s teaching, and not the old and new testament.

    • sofoklis stefanidis

      precisely

    • Mary Guttel

      Roman Law no longer have in Britain, where the law is based on precedent. The other two you mention are the pillars of European culture.

    • marie louise delvaux

      well said, but don’t forget the Latin language that allowed the medieval
      intelligentsia to cross the continent for centuries.

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      Ethics is just derivative of religion. Protestant ethics is different from catholic ethics which is different from islamic ethics, etc… Which ethics do you mean?

    • Julia Hadjikyriacou

      Also look at stand-alone actions regardless of the motivation behind it, especially religious and punish accordingly. E.g like the rape of a child by a refugee must not be forgiven, or not being allowed to name harmful actions by Israel or not punishing injustices by Turkey for fear of retribution. Look at violations of ethics and do not baby countries or races/ethicities because of their religion.

  1. Yannick Herve

    Il n’y a pas de culture européenne. Il y a un héritage plus ou moins partagé de culture grecque et romaine. Les Peuples se sont développés indépendamment même si des échanges ont existé.
    Quelles convergences entre un italien du Sud et un danois, un Breton et un letton, un portugais et un lituanien ?

    • Bódis Kata

      Yes, there’s a European culture and civilisation and within that we have the national ethnic cultures.

      Would you say that there’s no Chinese culture? The cultural differences between the various provinces are huge, no smaller than the difference between Scandinavia and, for example, Bulgaria.

    • Yannick Herve

      Le seul point commun est la religion imposée par la force et les massacres.
      L’islam va détruire ce lien extrêmement fragile et artificiel.
      Il y a plus excommunications entre un portugais et un brésilien, un espagnol et un argentin, qu’entre en français et un suédois.

    • Yannick Herve

      Le seul point commun est la religion imposée par la force et les massacres.
      L’islam va détruire ce lien extrêmement fragile et artificiel.
      Il y a plus de lien organique entre un portugais et un brésilien, un espagnol et un argentin, qu’entre en français et un suédois.

    • Piotr Azia

      Beaucoup plus qu’on ne le pense, en considérant le mouvement des peuples à travers les siècles. Les Normands, ont bien occupé la Sicile, emmenant leurs culture et leur type physique. Il n’y a pas un seul coin d’Europe qui ne soit connecté à tous les autres – sauf le Pays Basque espagnol. L’invention des états nations et des frontières est relativement récente, ainsi les gens voyageaient librement à travers le continent, que ce soit pour étudier, découvrir ou conquérir

    • Piedade Luisa Pinho

      Speak for yourself.
      And no. Islam is not going to destroy christianity. Is going to make It stronger.

    • Elie Awake

      The only common background is Christianity apart from that last a little things .and now do u include russian and Georgia and ukraine in Europe ? Or u inly think about thr EU ? Lol

    • Dave Morrow

      but even Roman Culture took influences from Egyptian Culture , as well as from Celtic Culture as all empires do , Spainish Culture was hugely influenced by the Moors , and probably by the Inca’s , as British Culture has been influenced by Asian and African Cultures.

  2. Wolf Achim Wiegand

    Europa means living on the continent where modern civilization as we know it today stems from. European discoverers and adventurers have found the “new world” and have (mostly) succesfull “exported” their European way of live.

  3. Yannick Herve

    Seule la religion imposée par la force peut sembler être un ciment bien fragile. L’arrivée en masse de musulmans (ou l’intégration de la Turquie) va détruire ce lien déjà très ténu.

  4. Ivan Burrows

    .

    There is no such thing as a ‘European culture’, there are as many cultures as there are defined peoples within the 51 Nation States of Europe.

    • Gustav Bekkrman

      There is definitely a European culture.

      You cannot speak about the Northern European Albrecht Dürer or Jan van Eyk without speaking about the Southern European Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci. Nor discuss Shakespeare without acknowledging the influence of Classic Greece. Nor Chopin without Bach.

      The cross-cultural influences were so immense that none of the cultures in Europe stayed isolated, culminating in a European culture.

      17/10/2017 Felipe Santos Rodríguez, Director of the Cervantes Institute in Brussels, has responded to this comment.

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      And this is very definition of European culture. They all live and thrive, sharing something, borrowing something, exchanging something, with no intention to extinguish one another. Similar, but different, and most of all compatible…

    • Michael

      And various cultures/subcultures within them

  5. Yordan Vasilev

    The European values are freedom, democracy, tolerance, privet own and free market.

    • ironworker

      And what’s the difference between U.S. and Europe then?

    • Angie

      And most importantly Free speech!

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      I think it is time for you to take some time to go over the basic school history program and re-learn what you forgot, or learn what you never knew about history of European culture…

    • Anna Campbell

      I suggest you learn about Righteous Among the Nations. In Poland alone 6,620 people risked their lives and many died in the process (including entire families and villages, because the punishment for helping a Jew was death in Nazis hands). THIS is the European culture, sir!

    • Taline Babikian Angelidou

      Romans, Greeks, Celtics?!,Slavs…Scandinavians?! and other tribes/clans..I think make up what we know today as amd recognise as Europeans

  6. Elie Awake

    Cultures are affected by languages and religions so the only commun cultural background in Europe is Christianity .and now do u include russian and Georgia and ukraine in Europe ? Or u only think about thr EU ? Lol

  7. Paul Franssen

    Only persons scrutinizing their bellybutton and the collection of bacteria ever present there would fail to observe the broader environment which brought about the general context making it possible for that nombril to subsist. There is no such thing as a narrow interpretation, when evaluating such broad expanse of phenomena as “culture”: no two beings are exactly alike, some prefer Rameau to Bach, but both musicians, one German, the other French, did play the same instrument, and even in those days, with difficult, oft perilous, travel, knew each other’s music. There was correspondance on all levels. Same was not exclusive to Europe: scholars of Moslim origin heavily influenced medicine, philosophy and mathematics, by no means exclusively European domains. Peter the Great lived in the Netherlands, Karl Marx in London. It would be a humongous error to identify Germans by the standards of any one of their individual citizens, Italy by spaghetti or pizza, France by mere association with romantic imagery. We do not, ladies and gents, live in merely a village: that village is built with bricks from elsewhere! Europe has a heavily intertwined common history, and that most certainly not in a favourable context! European culture is most visible once one leaves the continent, when other cultural influences become more prevalent. I have lived in various European countries, and need not to be convinced that we have common culture.

    • Giorgos Plevrakis

      There could have been no better put answer!

    • Michael

      Well said

  8. Guillem Martí Bou

    – Christianity and Jew basical and reformed values.

    – Free Market/Personal Freedom.

    – Rule of Law.

    The western values that get prosperity and freedom into any society, and which its repeal would generate always misery and repression around de globe.

  9. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Like it or not (and I am an atheist), the European Civilization is based on Christianity and the actual social values dues a lot from the Renaissance (Enlightenment).

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      What is so nice is that something like Renaissance could only happen in Europe… and this was great. Definitely without Greece and Rome we could not have such Enlightenment….

  10. catherine benning

    Whatever it is that has made us connect as Europeans is beautiful. And obviously admired throughout the world. Many outside our land mass are resentful of our way of life but cannot wait to get inside of it. And once they do find they want to destroy it as they cannot understand its depth or begin to be part of it’s uniqueness. Hence the constant attacks and reference to racism. The truth being, the shoe is on the other foot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYwX52TS96o

    This gives a view of the basis of us being Europeans.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYBO0YyJ6RU

  11. Savas Ozyurt

    To answer this, we have to go aaaaaall the way back to the beginning… darkness, cave, no fire, forest… then we can understand the true culture of Europe.

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      Well, in XX century people discovered cultures living at that level with no sign of any progress… cave is common to all ancient people around the globe… And forest actually had quite a lot of spiritual meaning for old people, much more peaceful and enlightening meaning than Christianity or Islam…

    • Savas Ozyurt

      And somewhere somehow Europe has lost its touch with all that.

  12. Stefania Portici

    La cultura deve essere cosmopolita .Le diverse culture arricchiscono la società ma l’economia deve essere nazionale per tutelare e salvaguardare i diritti del 99% della popolazione mondiale. . I globalizzatori attraverso l’economia stanno distruggendo l’uno e l’altro ,la globalizzazione sta distruggendo la cultura e i diritti dei cittadinbi. I popoli si scontrano non per la cultura . Birbacciona , ladra, assassina e guerrafondaia la globalizzazione degli ” illuminati” che l’hanno voluta in questo modo .Quegli illuminati sono dei criminali

  13. Christina Kler

    Learn history first !!! Then you can talk about culture and cultural heritage !!! And RESPECT it .

  14. Margarita G. Soto

    If you really want to create a true union, don’t waste your time talking and take the necessary steps to do what it takes so that happens now

  15. Nicholas Farrugia

    European culture is what the EU dictators want to eliminate. Europe has a rich cultural diversity with compatibility. The so called multicultural pseudo liberal twits want to put everything in a cultural Liquidizer INCLUDING incompatible cultures and blend everything into some tasteless shitty too.

  16. Bernard Barthalay

    It depends on what you mean by culture. Some mean identitity, but there is no more a European identity than national identities. Because identity refers to some uniqueness, a same something that does not exist. I don’t even speak my mother tongue just like the guy nextdoor. Each milage is different. Is it useful or just or benign to think in terms of one unique identity? No. Not at all. As François Jullien wrote, there are just “cultural resources” available to us, to choose from, a legacy of more or less elective affinities. Not one standard native inheritance, to be stuck on you by force or by law or by birth place (natio).

    • Maia Alexandrova

      The combination of history, geography and religion is what made Europeans unique.

  17. Ariste Arvanitides

    You will not have to define European Culture soon, as it will be wiped off the face of the earth with the hoesting of enemy invadors in our lands, with a cultur of their own, of beheadings and slavery and other evil things such as IMPOSING their BARBARIC and ISLAMIC culture to eliminate ours. The west bombed them out of their homes, and now they want revenge… and they are ge tting it.

  18. Tamzin Jans

    Here is the problem: everyone thinks they will be wiped off and that their whiteness or their Christianity or their other self-identity will be wiped off by another who is probably Black, gay, atheist, woman, Muslim, freeloader migrant globalist elitist liberal!

    Europe didn’t have a culture until things were imported: food, religion, humans, lifestyle, philosophy etc.

    Europe also exported “its culture” to millions of humans across the globe.

    We are a part and parcel of a mixed humanity.

    • Andre Mardaga

      Like what other heritage.
      Illuminati or kebab…..

  19. James Allen

    If the Western Canon (particularly literature) were still taught by competent teachers who believed it was still important to illuminate and transmit great works to the next generation, this question would not need to be asked.

  20. Adam Williams

    What makes Europe special is the diversity of compatible cultures. I’ve absolutely no idea why there is a rush for union. Single currency, single parliament….you may as well have a single language then.

    • John Lamprogiannis

      YES, SINCE EUROPE IS BASED ON GREEK CIVILIZATION LETS ALL SPEAK GREEK!

  21. Κωνσταντίνος Πατσαλάς

    I suggest you my friends to read the book of Mr. Giannaras Christos for the two totally different cultures of Europe, the Eastern and the Western. In its base is about the fondamental distance between Byzantin-Greek way of life and Vikings-Franks-Saxons.

    • Roman Romanov

      Latin influenced westerners and Byzantine influenced east

  22. EU Reform- Proactive

    One of “THOSE” questions (again)- very well than- dear EU! Those who are so very sure about a correct answer- probably just “shoot” from the hip & being trapped.

    The relentless & rabid political EU concept- championed by all these ethical & moral “flag bearers” know very well & doing their utmost- because they have decided, directed and are determined to:

    abolish, destroy- uproot- equalize what is/was known as “our common European cultural heritage”- contributed over millennium by all those tribes & nations who inhabited this part of the earth. These enlightened forces are forging ahead to replace the old traditional order(s) to form a new concept/culture- using “cohesion” etc- to build their new world order. Everything based on “Treaties” & regulations- equally applied & strictly enforced all over- centrally controlled.

    That is contrary to what “traditional (despised) European culture” is & was. It’s perversion or “modernizing” (real purpose?) is now understood by many to become the neo EU culture- to be loved, embraced & saluted!

  23. John Lamprogiannis

    EUROPE IS NOTHING BUT THE CONTINUATION OF GREEK CIVILIZATION! JUST COUNT THE GREEK WORDS YOU USE EVERYDAY, READ YOUR HISTORY BOOKS AND YOU WILL REALIZE THE TRUTH!

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      In Polish language, there are a lot of words that come directly from Sanskrit, including most significant ones like veda-wiedza-knowledge, budda-budzić-awaken, numbers, family members, etc. Similar both in sound and meaning.
      This does not contradict what you says: mythology, geometry, even music tuning in European music until XVI century, etc… but I see European culture as an extension and enhancement rather than simple continuation…

  24. Chris Pavlides

    Unfortunatelly current europe is not the continuation. ITS THE SHADE. Darkness is familiar to north.

    • Wlodzimierz Gontarz

      Well, islam did not do any good to Europe… pity… Christianity, well, this topic will never be met with some agreement, but at least we got a lot of old architecture for tourists, and some nice music… :) Buddhism first came to Europe by the end of XIX century and was very limited to just a few people, so to short time to really make an impact…

  25. Gregorio Baggiani

    Portogallo ed Estonia condividono la fede cristiana, la democrazia, lo stato di diritto ed altre cose, pur essendo ovviamente diverse sotto molti altri aspetti.. la Russia è invece senz’altro europea dal punto di vista culturale , ma non dal punto di vista poilitico, questo la rende ambivalente dal punto di vista civilizzatorio, evidenziandone i punti di contatto con l’Europa, ma anche la sua alterità politico-culturale……

  26. Peter Bakos

    I have lived in France and Hungary. There are common cultural elements and there are different cultural elements. I would also suggest that 1000’s of years of history has injected new elements to that cultural heritage and that it is in a constant state of flux.

  27. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

  28. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

  29. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

  30. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

  31. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

  32. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

  33. Wouter de Ruiter

    About the only thing all Europeans have in common is that we all like cheese. For most of Africa and Asia cheese is just rotten milk

    • Maia Alexandrova

      The teachings of Jesus Christ is what connects all European people into one.

    • Jerzy Pielas

      Christianity was and still is a great disaster to European culture.
      Hopefully it will vanish in XXI century.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Dionysios Stavropoulos
      Roman Law is INFERIOR to COMMON LAW – just look at TI index for proof!

  34. Georgios Kyriazopoulos

    European means first of all to be Greek…because is Greek name…and without Greece….the european countries…would be not the way they are now…

    • Danny boy

      If I were you i’d start worrying about where Greece is now,the laughing stock of Europe.

    • Maia Alexandrova

      Without Christianity European countries would not be the way they are now.

  35. Paul X

    People keep confusing values with culture, they are not the same

    European values are pretty much the same as the rest of the western world, and that includes America (unfortunately for all you US haters)

    There is no common culture throughout Europe, and despite how much the EU is trying homogonise things, there hopefully never will be. Who wants to travel across Europe and experience one bland “Euro-culture”?….. the best thing about traveling around Europe is being able to experience all the cultural differences in a relatively small continent

  36. Paul Grajnert

    a) There is no such thing as Europe. This is a racist figment of a racist’s imagination. b) Enlightenment values are universal values.

  37. Maia Alexandrova

    European is the culture of all countries geographically located in Europe and all people in them who are native to Europe and have been connected in history by Christianity – whichever denomination. It is not the culture of any nomads or immigrants who came from other continents and brought their own religions and beliefs with them.

    Nowadays religion does not have that much significance, so European culture is more about human values, stemming from the teachings of Jesus Christ. People are not obliged to be Christian, but just to respect those values and not to try and impose themselves on others. Different religions, beliefs and practices are only acceptable, if they do not disturb the indigenous European population. Tolerance does not mean lack of any opposition to incompatible and unacceptable moral teachings from other parts of the world. It means letting newcomers live at peace, if they do not disturb the peace of the local community. It is not wrong to be intolerant, if someone passes that boundary.

    • Danny boy

      So I take it in your vision of this continent a black Muslim praying to Allah in the park is unacceptable,but a blue eyed,blonde Aryan praying to Jesus is fine by you?

    • Maia Alexandrova

      The Black Muslim praying to Allah does not represent the European, but African or Asian cultures. Blonde people are mainly part of the Northern European cultures, but still indigenous Europeans, as are the predominantly dark-haired white people of Southern Europe. USA, Canada and Australia are offshoots of the European culture, but do not represent it, simply because they are geographically located in America and have had their own unique development separately from Europe.

      Anyone can pray in the park, if they want, provided that it is not loud, provocative and disturbing others in any way. What I meant by “unacceptable moral teachings” is, for example, preaching hatred of Christians or imposing guilt and shame on women for wearing summer clothes. This should not be tolerated.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Maia Alexandrova
      Some ‘offshoots’ are better than others methinks?

  38. Stelios Peppas

    A mix of Christianity as neoplatonic system of ideas filtered and the supreme power of the Roman Empire heavily influenced by Hellenic culture and Easter mysticism. In matter of fact thanks to Eastern Roman Empire aka Byzantine Empire Europe is also experiencing the Renaissance period

  39. Mario Dingli

    The difficulty with Europe is that each individual courtry has a very deep hisorical background and each country would never think of renouncing one bit of their individuality. This is not like the United States; this is a very difficult question. The Spanish had their empire; and are proud of it; the French the same; the Portuguse the same. When the Europeans start to forget their glorious past, then , oerhaps, we can start to move forward towards a truly united Europe

    • Paul X

      Sorry, but to me phrases like “renouncing individuality” and “forgetting the past” are truly frightening and I cannot comprehend how anyone can even think like that (though I have no doubt your opinion is probably shared by more than one or two Brussels)

      Take away individuality and what have you left, some pseudo communist society ?

      ..and we should never forget our past, some parts we should be rightly proud of and some parts maybe not so, but it happened and nothing can change it, but we can learn from it

  40. Dany Barradas Sobral

    I don’t really think it is appropriate to say ‘European culture’. At the end there are European CultureS. Yes there are many similarities, which one can take as common points, but at then end it is important to preserve each and every European culture.

  41. Jerzy

    So called “Christian values” is nothing more than Church’s slogan deprived of any sens and without any meaning.

  42. Monique Taxhet

    European culture can be defined by democracy and freedom. Very diverse cultures cohabitating in peace, at least that’s the am. Not always easy but worth every effort. :-)

  43. Agathi Gkouderi

    It’ s a common cultural and spiritual heritage derived form Greco-Romain antiquity, Christianity and Renaissance.

  44. Florence Baudin

    Yep European culture is being replaced by Islamic culture because the corrupt leaders are in bed with the rich Arabs and the banks

    • Bruno J. De Cordier

      Hm, European cultures were already eroded before that by Americanization (or, more adequately, cultural ‘New Yorkisation and Californisation’). And the only thing Islam is doing, is using the inroads and cracks created by internal decadence.

  45. Bruno J. De Cordier

    The legacy of the Enlightenment that is often invoked has degenerated in the venomous and thoroughly anti-European combination of economic neo-liberalism and cultural Marxism dominant today. The only way for European rebirth and even survival is to connect again with Europe’s Traditionalist pagano-Christian nature. For Northwestern Europe, which is objectively in an advanced stage of decadence, it might be too late though. Which means the core of White European civilization might move eastward.

  46. Andreas Laskaris

    In the article you mention only medieval characteristics as if you forget the fundamental historical and cultural basis of Europe that are the Greek and Roman civilisation! Religion comes second but also connects a common tradition among Europeans! Same religion path for 1000 years and politically devided for the next 1000 years! In conclusion the common European culture exist through the Greek-Roman civilisation and Christianity and French illumination!

  47. Noel Muscat

    It is true that, throughout its history, Europe has been a melting pot of cultures. One has to be specific about what he intends by the term Europe, since in classical and mediaeval times Europe as a cultural centre was rather seen as encompassing the Mediterranean basin, more than our contemporary concept of Europe. It was from the Mediterranean basin that Europe gained much of its present identity, including the development of modern European languages, the socio-political framework of modern states, and a Jewish-Christian identity. To reject these facts is to reject the very notion of what European culture is all about. In spite of all this, however, Europe has never been, and will never be, a united socio-political-economical reality. In all aspects of its rich cultural heritage Europe is a confederation of nations and has seen borders shift in continuation. Diversity is the trade-mark of Europe in all aspects. The EU will fail if it does away with the fundamental concept of respect for diversity and recognition of historical truth when it pretends to create its own European framework. For example, Europe without the Mediterranean dimension, Europe without its Christian identity in culture, is a false creation of a postmodern culture without any roots or sense of identity. This is the mistake of the EU today… Its effects are already felt in its shaky structure, since true identity is not only based on economic growth, but upon a recognition of sound human values.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      A well painted- befitting a more “complex European painting” to live with & die for, than just dry, neo liberal political treaties, regulations & cohesion’s to be enforced & adhered to by a Brussels Suzerain!

    • catherine benning

      @ Noel Muscat

      This is split thinking really, as, Judaism v Christianity cancel each other out.

      Judaism is the ethic of an eye for an eye. Christianity is, turn the other cheek.

  48. Maciej

    European culture is empathy.
    That is the root of most European values: egalitarianism – both in everyday relations and in economic system; labour law; quite liberal social norms; quite liberal criminal law; rule of law which should assure that people are treated fair; aversion to any kind of “natural order of things”. Basic idea that other people are no less worthy then myself.
    Of course this is not an only universal value and extent of its practical implementation in different areas is a battlefield between left-wing and right-wing. But still, I’d argue that this one is elementary.
    It’s hard to answer this question without enough knowledge about non-European cultures, but that would be my hypothesis based on a few discussions with people from Asia, Africa, USA and Russia, and with people I know who have lived there for some time. The most surprising thing for me was this idea of hierarchy, of being better than others – because of wealth, of diligence, of confession, of sex, of being a citizen of an empire, whatsoever.
    Of course, I mean modern European culture. Cultures differ in time just as they differ in space. What made Europe exceptional was not Roman law and Greek philosophy. It was turning matter into movement and movement into a flow of electric charge. Looking for a common ground for pre- and postindustrial Europe is – imho – quite misleading.
    Is empathy a Christian value? Christian churches adapted to the reality of feudalism, which was something quite the opposite. But I would argue that culture based on empathy is quite deeply rooted in teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Even European atheism had to determine itself in relation to his moral views – most of which have not been negated.

  49. Dr Jean-Pierre Van Hees

    Une manière commune d’évoluer positivement en s’efforçant de de ne plus reproduire les erreurs du passé tout en développant de nouvelles idées pour un futur meilleur.

  50. Lasse Ørberg

    A flock of birds.
    Each flying their own way.
    Yet together.

  51. Borka Gergely Attila

    Greek philosophy, roman law, some christianity (not necessarily the religion itself but the influence of it and some values), latin, architecture, humanism, enlightement, classic music, WW1, WW2, the european dream of peace.

  52. Georgia

    Ancient Greek scripts, Roman Law and Christianity.

  53. Jokera Jokerov

    Lay Christian. The French have a very good expression: La Republique est laique, mais la France est Catholique.

  54. Chastity Turney

    European culture is amazing for me and I am only 11 years old. I study it daily and I need some answers. What is their culture?

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