Comparative Civilizations Review

Articles from No. 67, Fall

A Confucian Case for Economic Freedom
IntroductionThe current economic and geopolitical rise of China and its East Asian neighbors is a crucial watershed moment in world history, representing an eastward shift of power and influence with little precedent in modern history. Unlike the various...
America's Love Affair with Markets: Is America an Outlier? Health Reform
Although I am not a social scientist, it seems to me that in the twentieth century, what with fascism and communism, the idea of an "advanced Western democracy" became more sharply focused. Here in the U.S., we think of America as the prototype and natural...
Classicide in Communist China
Since the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, China has known only one form of government: the authoritarian communism of Mao Zedong. Although China has undergone 30 years of major social and economic transitions, from a political...
Editor's Note
I.Is there an inevitable coming clash between Western Civilization and the Chinese Civilization? That question took the spotlight at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations this past summer.A centerpiece...
Hegel and the Western Spirit
This paper argues that Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit ([1806] 1977) should be read as an invaluable work on the distinctive restlessness of Western culture - so long as we view this book as an account of the developmental experience of the Western spirit...
How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying Too)
David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam is Dying Too). Regnery 2011.Reviewed by Laina Farhat-HolzmanSummary: "Population decline is the elephant in the world's living room." If population declines continue in the developed world, there...
How Islam Created the Modern World
Mark Graham, How Islam Created the Modern World Amana Books, 2010. Reviewed by Norman C. Rothman.The object of this tome is spelled out in the preface by the Muslim scholar Akbar Ahmed: to demonstrate that it was Islamic Civilization that "pulled Europe...
Modernization or Westernization: The Muslim World vs. the Rest
The 20th century has been a time of rapid transformation, a continuation of a process begun in the West with the Scientific Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Religious Revolution, and Political Revolution. Other once-powerful empires, such as China,...
Mohammed & Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott, Mohammed & Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy, New English Review Press, 2012.Reviewed by Laina Farhat-Holzman.Scott is part of a growing body of revisionist Islamic scholars who are revisiting what had become the unquestioned...
Not a Clash of Civilizations, but a Clash between the Civilized and the Uncivilized
Since the late Harvard University political science professor Samuel Huntington published the theory of a "clash of civilizations", the Chinese Communist Party has been using it to explain China's relationship with the West. This theory has become the...
Religion as an Organic Entity: The Emergence of Fundamental-Liberalism in Islam in Indonesia and in Japanese Shinran Buddhism
...Mysticism intends a state of "possession, " not action, and the individual is not a tool but a "vessel" of the divine. Action in the world must thus appear as endangering the absolutely irrational and other-worldly religious state.IntroductionMillions...
Spengler's Philosophy and Its Implication That Europe Has "Lost Its Way"
During the First World War, a German historian produced a book that caused quite a stir among intellectuals around the world. By collating events in different (usually noncontemporary) cultures and civilizations, Spengler maintained that it should be...
The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization
Richard W. Bulliet. The Case for Manto-Christian Civilization. Columbia University Press 2004.Reviewed by Norman C. Rothman.Noted Middle Eastern/Islamist scholar and historian Richard W. Bulliet has compiled this work. It is an updating of essays and...
The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization
Lyons, Jonathan. The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009.Reviewed by Connie LambThis is a fascinating book which covers a vast amount of subjects over a long historical time and wide geographic...
The Myths and Realities of the Clash of Western and Chinese Civilizations in the 21st Century
The Globalization and Comparative ApproachKey Words: Western Civilization, Chinese Civilization, USA, EU, China, civilization clash, wealth bifurcation, Death Triangle of Civilization, globalization, globalization waves, economic crisis, grand strategy,...
The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
Ricardo Duchesne. The Uniqueness of Western Civilization. Brill Press, 2011. Reviewed by Laina Farhat-HolzmanOverview: After many decades of replacing courses in Western Civilization with World History, some younger historians are beginning to challenge...
Two Concepts of "Civilization"
Civilization Has Two Definitions.The word "civilization" has two basic meanings rather than one. There has been much discussion recently about civilizational conflicts and fusion. But to talk about such fusions, we must keep in mind that the word "civilization"...
What the West Doesn't Owe Islam*
Globalization has brought more and more peoples and societies around the world into contact with international standards of law, commerce, and communication. That process has also enabled a number of formerly underdeveloped societies to experience extraordinary...