Peace Education

UPF-Slovakia Ponders Europe’s Future

Slovakia-2022-06-20-UPF-Slovakia Ponders Europe’s Future

Bratislava, Slovakia— A lecture presented by UPF asked whether Europe is facing decline or renewal.

Historian and journalist Barbara Grabner has given the lecture “Europe, Quo Vadis?” in four nations, but the event on June 20, 2022, was the first time she has presented it in Slovakia.

Although people were signaling interest days before the lecture, shortly beforehand the speaker contracted food poisoning and a heat wave came to Bratislava. It was almost a miracle that a large audience filled the UPF Peace Embassy and that the weakened lecturer was able to give the lecture.

The attentive audience included the former dean of a university, a famous Marxist philosopher, the chairman of a journalists' association, a leading functionary of a Catholic organization and some youth representatives. 

The lecture focused on the theories of the historians Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee. In the latter part of the program, passages from the autobiography of UPF co-founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon were read by UPF-Slovakia President Miloš Klas.

The German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler contended that because most civilizations pass through a life cycle, the historian not only can reconstruct the past but also can predict the spiritual forms, duration, meaning and product of the still unaccomplished stages. It is like making a weather forecast, Mrs. Grabner said: Data from the past are merged with present observations, requiring the forecaster to remember a previous weather event that is expected to be mimicked by an upcoming event.  Spengler predicted that about the year 2000, the Atlantic civilization would enter the period of pre‑death emergency. 

The British historian and philosopher Arnold J. Toynbee contended that though Western civilization may be headed for destruction, it first will bring about the political and cultural unification of humankind. He maintained that the coming world-embracing civilization will be essentially religious. He was also convinced of the necessity to create a global nation because individual states cater only to their interests and sacrifice the common good for selfish gains. 

The gloomy perspectives from the European point of view were then brightened by the speaker's outlook on the dawning Pacific Era. This went down very well with the audience! The contents of the lecture provided food for discussions in small groups afterward.

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