Exploring the Underground Writings of Jan Patočka: Christianity and the Rise of Europe

This is the fourth lecture of the series. Nineteenth-century philosophers “did not for a moment doubt the spiritual origins of European unity,” writes Patočka, “and their conception is surely correct.” Thus, in his fourth essay, he tries to show that European culture is rooted in Christianity. This was and still is a “heretical” view, yet Patočka firmly holds it. He insists that “care for the soul is what gave rise to Europe.” What Christianity brought to Europe was a centuries-long “deepening” of Platonism’s concern with the human soul. It is only in the sixteenth century that Europeans began, en masse, to reject this Platonic–Christian legacy. The threat of European “nihilism,” faced by writers such as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche, stems from that rejection.

Danube Institute present

Exploring the Underground Writings

Jan Patočka:
Christianity and the Rise of Europe


David L. Dusenbury pic..jpg

Lecture by Dr. David L. Dusenbury, Visiting Fellow at Danube Institute,
Respondent Ferenc Hörcher,
research professor, University of Public Service; senior fellow – Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre for the Humanities,
Introduced and moderated by Dr. Calum T. M. Nicholson, President of Danube Institute

Date: November 23, 2021
 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Scruton DOWNTOWN (1054 Budapest, Zoltán utca 10.)

Dr. David L. Dusenbury:

David is a Visiting Fellow at the Danube Institute. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Leuven and held, most recently, a research fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His books include Platonic Legislations and The Innocence of Pontius Pilate. He has lectured widely in Europe on topics in philosophy, religion, law, and the history of ideas. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Corriere della Serra, American Affairs, and other cultural and political reviews.