Western societies struggle for their identity. Starting with 9/11 the clash of civilizations, as predicted by Samuel Huntington, seem to have come at hand: how to combat global terrorism conducted in the name of an ideology that seem to be much stronger than the liberal promise of Western democracy and lifestyle?
Globalization and digitalization have made Western men mad as well. How to compete against the learning capacity of artificial intelligence and the force of automatization? The free flow of information, ideas and people have challenged and questioned local identities. In the West almost all countries face a new wave of right wing populism, derogating immigrants and opposing open market economy. The whole Muslim word on the other hand is on fire: From Nigeria to Malaysia the faithful get exposed to the multitude of religious interpretation and lifestyles. This creates a pressure from the inside, upheaval and war. And from the outside the West challenges the view of an always triumphant Islam. The West can only escape from the era of identity, as this epoch will be called by later, by concentrating and re-focussing on its strength.
While nationalists and right-wing populists offer answers from the past, Europe has to remember its strongest concept to tackle both the danger from these populists and extremists from outside its shores: the Abendland. The concept of a humanist, Christian continent, laid out by such thinkers as Erasmus of Rotterdam is still valid. It is today mostly politically embodied in the European Union, yet without any "flesh on the bone" when it comes to symbolism and a story to believe in. The European Union rightfully wanted to exclude any nationalist and religious narrative for its future, for those two have been responsible for most the most devastating of disasters in the past.
However, the concept of the Abendland is inclusive and diverse, for it acknowledges the regional differences of its Western adherents and it is at the same time open to its sister, the Morgenland. The Abendland narrative, that has been taken hostage over time by mostly right wing protagonists, needs to be recuperated by the Europeans of good will and be offered as a concept that is worth to believe in and fight for. This argumentative writing will make the case for this view and vision of Abendland.