Via Meadia blog-sibling Religion and Other Curiosities by Peter Berger (one of the world’s greatest living sociologists) has a terrific post on German philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ recently discovered respect for Judeo-Christian religion. The intellectual leader of the modern European center-left has come to acknowledge late in his life that Biblical, Judeo-Christian religion is a vital underpinning of individualism, democracy and social justice.It’s not clear whether Habermas believes in the existence of any being greater than himself, but the acknowledgment of the social utility of religion by Germany’s most eminent living thinker suggests that the Continent’s long drift away from the faith that once made it the center of world culture may be coming to a halt.When Europe was Christian, it was a volcano of great culture and civilization. On abandoning Christianity, Europe fell for radical nationalism, fascism and communism — with horrendous results. Ever since 1945 it seems to have shunned big ideas and high thoughts, becoming the home of Nietzsche’s “last man” and having no ambition higher than converting itself into the world’s largest, most placid, and best stocked mall.Habermas’ new openness to the importance of religion for a just and dynamic human culture may or may not portend a European re-engagement with its largely Christian heritage — but it testifies to what Via Meadia holds as an enduring truth: that no human life is complete until like Jacob we have wrestled with the Creator. Nothing is more private and personal than those wrestling matches, and no other human being is in a position to judge the results — but unless in one form or another you are engaging with God you are missing out on the most challenging, rewarding and defining experience that life has to offer.Read Peter’s post here.