In this book two renowned scholars examine our age through a historical and philosophical assessment of prophecies and utopia, two fundamental pillars of modern Western development. The dialectic tension the two concepts have shared over the centuries and the corresponding institutional dualism that emerged between religious and political power have allowed the West to attain freedom, the rule of law and, indeed, democracy itself. Today, the idea of the European state and the cultural and political centrality of Europe face new challenges and appear to have exhausted their revolutionary momentum, as occurs in every utopian project. The West’s decline is not a mere matter of legal and institutional corruption, but rather indicates a more general civilization crisis.
Massimo Cacciari is professor emeritus of Philosophy at the San Raffaele University in Milan.
Paolo Prodi is professor emeritus at the University of Bologna.