Volume 10, 2010
Hellenic Gifts out of Christian Hands
Humanism, neo-humanism, third humanism – all of these are noble but unsuccessful attempts to overcome a problematic and critical spiritual situation of the times through a new actualization of Hellenic values of antiquity which are, in the attempt itself, viewed as ideal and self-sufficient. Christianity, which in many ways represents the realisation and completion of classical Hellenic culture, should no more be regarded as an injustice to that culture, since the encounter of Hellenism and Christianity is precisely the event which produced European culture. Apart from a culturological meaning, that may bear a meaning of principle too: we need a new rationality which may acquire salvific meaning today through the Hellenic idea of Logos (not only as cognitive and demonstrative reason, but also as capacity for discerning good from evil) and through the Christian idea of Logos as sacrifice for the other. We need a rationality which will not be of an order of nought, that is, an extended self-survival instinct – which will not be interested in usefulness only but also in goodness, not in legality only but in justice as well. Namely, the problem is that contemporary culture is forgetful both of Socrates and of Christ. That is not to mean that a civilisation which forgets Christ may by the same token appease its conscience by not forgetting Socrates.