What is the West?
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Duquesne University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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This is a remarkable and bracing short book—a powerful meditation, really, a terse 125 pages. I know of no one who has better and more succinctly put together the great contributory streams of the distinctive mind and heart of the West: not only....
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In 1808, the German philosopher, Fichte, felt the need to write his “Addresses to the German Nation.” In 1933, similarly compelled, the French essayist, Julien Benda, wrote an “Address to the European Nation.”Now, again, geopolitical realities seem...
1. The Greek Miracle: City and Science
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Around 1200 BCE a disaster took place on Greek soil: the destruction of the Mycenaean divine kingship system. A long Dark Age followed, ending in the middle of the eighth century with an evolutionary leap forward and the emergence of the...
2. The Contribution of Rome: Private Law and Humanism
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The Greeks invented the rule of law, but they did not take the development of law very far. In their small ethnically-homogeneous city-states, civil law was basically unwritten (which explains why our knowledge of Greek law is so...
3. Biblical Ethics and Eschatology
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There is little evidence that a non-Western civilization ever pursued progress for its own sake.1 For that matter even the Greco-Roman world, whose historical contributions we have been discussing, did not seek change intentionally....
4. The Papal Revolution
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The biblical program discussed in chapter 3, calling for action in history, takes a peaceful and rational turn in the middle of the European Middle Ages, between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries, under the impulse of the Roman Church...
5. The Rise of Liberal Democracies
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The fifth historical development or “miracle” is more familiar. It concerns the great liberal and democratic reforms that resulted in the distinctive outward form of the modern Western world. This development extended...
6. The Universality of Western Culture
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With great skill Friedrich August Hayek brought to light the significance of the West’s cultural innovations to the general evolution of humanity.1 The history of the past two or three centuries evinces...
7. For a Union of the West
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The arguments of the preceding chapters are useful in a discussion of three specific issues: the endmost borders of the West, the conditions for an eventual...
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Inspired by ideals of peace and progress, what can be done to advance understanding between civilizations fated to share the same historical time and space? How can we overcome the contradiction between inevitable cosmopolitanism...
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Page Count: 166
Publication Year: 2006