Jewry, Christianity and European tranfer of civilization

Hon.Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Kaltenstadler

The author already in his chapter of initiation confronts ancient Roman law with Jewish right. Roman and Canonical law in middle ages, compared with Jewish right, were relatively unknown, especially in Western Europe and on the British Isles. Jewish right displayed its effect via Old Testament, New Testament, and last not least Talmud, literally "doctrine".

Until the end of middle-ages Christian religion was in large areas of Europe a "belief on the surface". The great mass of people, often even clerical persons, did not observe Christian principles. Since Christianity was socialised and established as a state-religion under Constantine the Great in the beginning of 4th century, Christian religion had become a syncretistic religion with elements from almost all great ancient civilizations. Thus paganism and superstition formed and influenced Christianity until newest times. In the country superstition often was more effective for many centuries than Christian denomination. Christianity and paganism were in "a permanent competition" until modern times. The author elaborated the non-Christian routes of Christian religion in the chapter "Non-Christian relicts in Old Bavaria". Bavaria is depicted here as a typical example.

As modern Jewish scholars like the Russian medical scientist Boris Altschüler, Michael Wolffsohn ("Bundeswehrhochschule Neubiberg" near Munich) and Shlomo Sand (University of Tel Aviv) demonstrate, Jewry was generally not only more cosmopolitan than Roman Catholic Church, but paradoxically also more Christian than Roman Catholicism, which after Constantine's socialisation more and more lost the evangelic way of Jesus for many centuries. Wolffsohn characterizes the way of socialisation as the way of disjesuanisation ("Entjesuanisierung") of Christian religion. This "pagan heir of ancient Rome" survived in Roman Catolicism for a rather long time. Many Christian still believe today, that their heir is typically Christian. Christian religion thus had without doubt the character of of ambivalence until the beginning of 20th century.

European mentality was not only influenced and formed by the ideas of Christianity respectively by alleged and real Christian ideas, but also by Jewry, Islam (via Andalusia) and not least by the Langobards, who were - referring to Uwe Topper - the great mediators of Bogumil and Iranian spirit in Europe.

To recognize European polymorphism in its full dimension, we have to leave our Eurocentrical view of civilization. More and more even European scholars like Horst Friedrich, Theo Vennemann and Boris Altschüler are aware of the fact that not only the Oriental civilizations, but also the Pre-Christian megalithic culture of Western Europe (France, Iberia, British Isles) contributed to the forming of Europe. Thus the transfer of Christian religion, Islam and Jewry to Europe was and is not primarily a question of religion, but of civilization, as my description of the material fundaments, laid especially by European monasteries, shows. From the necessity of material culture the direct way let to the rise and development of science in Europe. To this great aim Jews contributed much more, than until now it was conscious to public. Their role in European civilization was rather neglected, compared for example with the ancient Greeks, until now too much glorified.

Summa summarum: My treatise tries to offer "a new critical view" of the roots of European civilization.