Epilogue: Why Western Civilization?
We construct and maintain the meaning and boundaries of Western Civilization. How will you participate therein?
“The West exists as long as many of its members and opponents say it exists,” p. 390.
All of them
- How should one shape one’s own worldview by picking and choosing from the key legacies of Western civilization?
- “In a changing world, what should we ourselves choose to learn from the past of Western civilization?”
- “Should history remind us of our nobility or convict us of our shame?”
- “Does Western civilization have a future?”
- How have ideas and beliefs have transformed the history of the West? How did intellectual revolutions, like the great philosophers of ancient Greece, the founding of medieval universities, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the rise of social sciences and new sciences in the 19th Century support the role of reason? How did the religions of the ancient world become replaced by Christianity, and then how did Christianity sustain and direct Western peoples through the Middle Ages, the Reformation and through the challenges of modernity up to 1914?
- How have materialistic revolutions altered the history of the West? You might consider the following questions: How did the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, Commercial Revolution, Scientific Revolution, Scientific Agricultural Revolution, and Industrial Revolutions change material culture? How did political revolutions, whether successful or failed, in city-states and empires of the ancient world, with towns and peasants in Medieval Europe, or in modern England, America, France, and throughout Europe in 1830 and 1848 offer alternative ways of governance?
- What roles have warfare and empire had in the history of the West? You might consider the following questions: How did the achievements of the Greeks and Romans depend on successful warfare, conquest, and imperial rule? How was the Middle Ages shaped around military conflict and what innovations ended its unique political and economic structures? How did Western states in modern times conduct war for political, nationalistic and imperial goals to change the course of World history?