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The Idea of Europe

 | 
Catriona Seth
, 
Rotraud von Kulessa

13. Europe and Islam

Texte intégral

1When discussing the relationship between European nations (which he defines as Christian) and Muslim countries, Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre betrays a eurocentrism founded on a conception of a Europe unified by a Christian faith.

2It is widely known that the primary reason Muslim sovereigns do not establish colleges and distance their subjects from the study of science and fine arts is a fear of the schisms and wars often caused by the disputes of theologians. Until now they have believed that only broad ignorance can protect them from this affliction; but as soon as they see that in association with the European Society they will have the assurance of the conservation of peace both within and without their borders, it is likely that they would soon adopt methods used by Christian states for the education of youth and the advancement of the arts and sciences. Thus, this could represent for them a new motivation to do everything in their power to found and confirm this grand establishment. The Church would benefit, in that the more Mahommedans become enlightened, the less they will remain attached to their dogmas, and the more they will be disposed to understand the beauty and perfection of the Christian faith.

3Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre,
Project for Perpetual Peace in Europe (1713).

Read the free text in the original language
(1713 edition, volume I):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/​ark:/12148/​bpt6k86492n?rk=21459;2
Read the free text in the original language
(1713 edition, volume II):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/​ark:/12148/​bpt6k864930?rk=42918;4