What is Europe? How do we define Europe?
It is difficult to answer this question because there is no one factor that unifies European countries.
It is difficult to define Europe in a simple geographical, economical, political, religious, linguistic or other cultural framework.
Half of Russia is in Europe and half is in Asia. Europe is a subcontinent of Eurasia.
Why are Europe and Asia separated? (Geologically there are 6 continents, but politically sometimes they are seen as 7) => has to do with culture and politics, not geology.
Russia presents a problem in defining it as European or Asian.
Christendom. Savonarola – Italian priest and leader of Florence in late 15th Century (severe reaction against Renaissance, book burning). Spain was not Christian for 500 years, but Muslim.
Turkey was a part of Europe, and then wasn’t, and then was again. The map of Europe has been and is being redrawn many times. =>The notion of Europe is flexible.
Is Russia – Europe?
Eurocentrism (Western Europe is mainstream and Eastern Europe is on the sidelines)
Division of Europe: geographically by the Ural Mountains, however people who live in Russia beyond the Urals consider themselves European. Georgia and Armenia also consider themselves European even though geographically they are in beyond the divide.
What is European culture? The answer is not simple:
No single language or religion
Economically: differences between East and West