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By Johann P. Arnason

The transforming into curiosity in civilizations, either at the point of political controversy ("the conflict of civilizations") and within the context of scholarly debates, demands extra theoretical mirrored image at the difficulties and views vital to this box of social inquiry. This quantity features a systematic and significant survey of classical and modern methods to comparative civilizational research. It is going directly to define a theoretical version that attracts at the paintings of ancient sociologists in addition to on comparative cultural and highbrow. Civilizations are analysed as multi-dimensional formations, with specific emphasis on cultural orientations, but additionally at the self sufficient dynamics of political and monetary associations. The final bankruptcy applies this line of argument to questions raised through critics of Eurocentrism and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of post-colonial conception.

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Additional resources for Civilizations in Dispute: Historical Questions and Theoretical Traditions (International Comparative Social Studies)

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Between the Hindu world of caste and the political regime of democracy’ (Stern, 1985: 9). The unequal but—within limits— genuine pluralism of interrelated castes could be grafted onto the more egalitarian model of interacting interest groups. There is, however, another side to this argument. The reference to political capacities involved in the maintenance of caste institutions (and transferable to a modern setting) presupposes a broader view of the political dimension as defined and circumscribed by the Indian tradition.

Through the fragments of older institutions that survived inside it). To sum up, Parsons’ limited and implicit use of civilizational theory has to do with the distinctive pluralism of European traditions.     29 But pluralism is only recognized up to a point: by giving Christianity the status of an unchallenged cultural synthesis and linking its valueorientations directly to the foundations of a modern system whose dynamic can then be analyzed in orthodox functionalist terms, Parsons manages to restore the unitary framework of evolutionary theory.

The very distinctive division of power and authority that took shape during this crucial phase cannot be adequately described as a separation of the sacred from the secular; as historians have pointed out, the church was a papal monarchy (Morris, 1989), and the other side (the imperial centre as well as the more successful territorial monarchies which replaced it) claimed a share of sacred authority. It is, in other words, more appropriate to speak of two different combinations of sacred and secular principles, and on the more secular side, a unifying project gave way to a multi-central constellation.

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