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From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents

01 Jan 1998-
TL;DR: From Plato to NATO as mentioned in this paper is the first book to make sense of the legacy of the West at a time when it is facing its greatest challenges, arguing that the West did not begin in Greece and, in morality and religion, the Greeks were an alien civilization whose contribution was mediated through Rome and Christianity.
Abstract: An in-depth intellectual history of the Western idea and a passionate defense of its importance to America's future, "From Plato to NATO" is the first book to make sense of the legacy of the West at a time when it is facing its greatest challenges Readers of Francis Fukuyama, John Gray, Samuel Huntington, and other analysts of the dilemmas of Western nations in the twenty-first century will find in David Gress's original account a fuller description of what the West really is and how, with the best of intentions, it has been misrepresented Most important, they will encounter a new vision of Western identity and how it can be recovered Early in the twentieth century, American educators put together a story of Western civilization, its origins, history, and promise that for the subsequent fifty years remained at the heart of American college education The story they told was of a Western civilization that began with the Greeks and continued through 2,500 years of great books and great ideas, culminating in twentieth-century progressive liberal democracy, science, and capitalist prosperity In the 1960s, this Grand Narrative of the West came under attack Over the next thirty years, the critics turned this old story into its opposite: a series of anti-narratives about the evils, the failures, and the betrayals of justice that, so they said, constituted Western history The victory of Western values at the end of the cold war, the spread of democracy and capitalism, and the worldwide impact of American popular culture have not revived the Grand Narrative in the European and American heartlands of the West David Gress explains this paradox, arguing that the Grand Narrative of the West was flawed from the beginning: that the West did not begin in Greece and that, in morality and religion, the Greeks were an alien civilization whose contribution was mediated through Rome and Christianity Furthermore, in assuming a continuity from the Greeks to modern liberalism, we have mistakenly downplayed or rejected everything in between, focusing on the great ideas and the great books rather than on real history with all its ambiguities, conflicts, and contradictions The heart of Gress's case for the future of the West is that the New must remember its roots in the Old and seek a synthesis For as the attacks have demonstrated, the New West cannot stand alone Its very virtues -- liberty, reason, progress -- grew out of the Old West and cannot flourish when removed from that rich soil
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the days of King Josiah, archeology and the Bible as discussed by the authors, the Bible as history, searching for the Patriarchs, did the Exodus happen? The Conquest of Canaan, who were the Israelites? Memories of a Golden Age?
Abstract: Contents Prologue: In the Days of King Josiah Introduction: Archaeology and the Bible PART ONE The Bible as History? * Searching for the Patriarchs * Did the Exodus Happen? * The Conquest of Canaan * Who Were the Israelites? * Memories of a Golden Age? PART TWO The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel * One State, One Nation, One People? (C. 930-720 BCE) * Israel's Forgotten First Kingdom (884-842 BCE) * In the Shadow of Empire (842-720 BCE) PART THREE Judah and the Making of Biblical History * The Transformation of Judah (C. 930-705 BCE) * Between War and Survival (705-639 BCE) * A Great Reformation (639-586 BCE) * Exile and Return (586-C. 440 BCE) Epilogue: The Future of Biblical Israel Appendix A: Theories of the Historicity of the Patriarchal Age Appendix B: Searching for Sinai Appendix C: Alternative Theories of the Israelite Conquest Appendix D: Why the Traditional Archaeology of the Davidic and Solomonic Period Is Wrong Appendix E: Identifying the Era of Manasseh in the Archaeological Record Appendix F: How Vast Was the Kingdom of Josiah? Appendix G: The Boundaries of the Province of Yehud Bibliography Index

139 citations

Book
29 Oct 2001
TL;DR: Islam Between Culture and Politics: The Scope and the Implications Part I: RELIGION, CULTURE and DEVELOPMENT: ISLAM BETWEEN PAST and PRESENT Religion, Culture and Social Reality: Islam as a Cultural System and its diversity Cultural Patterns and the perception of change in Islam: A Religious Model for Reality: The Islamic Worldview Culture and social change: Tradition and Innovation in Cultural Analysis PART II: THE CONTEXT: the POLITICIZATION of ISLAMA in the GLOBAL AGE The Dichotomy of Structural Globalization
Abstract: Introduction: Islam Between Culture and Politics: The Scope and the Implications PART I: RELIGION, CULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT: ISLAM BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT Religion, Culture and Social Reality: Islam as a Cultural System and its Diversity Cultural Patterns and the Perception of Change in Islam: A Religious Model for Reality: The Islamic Worldview Culture and Social Change: Tradition and Innovation in Cultural Analysis PART TWO: THE CONTEXT: THE POLITICIZATION OF ISLAM IN THE GLOBAL AGE The Dichotomy of Structural Globalization and Fragmenting Cultural Self-Assertion: The Case of Islamic Civilization The Politicization of Religion: Political Islam as a Defence-Cultural Response to Global Challenges From Religious Belief to Political Commitment: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Secular Order PART III: THE FRAMEWORK: THE MEANS OF POLITICIZATION: THE REVIVAL OF THE SHARI'S AND THE ISLAMIZATION OF EDUCATION Social Change and the Potential for Flexibility in Islamic Law: The Shari's Between Ethics and Politicisation Institutions of Learning and Education in Islam: Between the Cultural Accommodation of Change, Religious Orthodoxy and the Politics of Cultural IslamiZation PART IV: ISLAM AND THE WEST BETWEEN INTER-CIVILIZATIONAL DIALOGUE AND POLITICAL ANTAGONISM Islam Matters to the West! Islam and Europe, Islam in Europe: Islamic Migration between Cultural Assimilation, Political Integration and Communitarian Ghettoization Islam and the West in the Age of Conflict among Civilizations: The Alternative in Inter-Cultural Dialogue as a Means of Conflict Resolution

121 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argues that if globalization is multipolar then cosmopolitanism too is multicentric and this involves overcoming West-centrism or monocultural cosmo-moro-ism.
Abstract: This contribution explores what, in outline, an agenda of emancipatory cosmopolitanism would consist of. The first step in this treatment is to scrutinize capitalist cosmopolitanism as the dominant variant of cosmopolitanism. Understanding its influence is crucial to the task of counterbalancing it. The second section concerns the strange double life of conventional cosmopolitanism, which, while claiming universality, reflects a regional, parochial order. This paper argues that if globalization is multipolar then cosmopolitanism too is multicentric and this involves overcoming West-centrism or monocultural cosmopolitanism. Third, whilst acknowledging the importance of the reflection on planetary ethics, the tendency toward normative abstraction is problematic; bringing history back into cosmopolitanism is necessary as a counterpoint to monocultural cosmopolitanism.

116 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The way the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC on 11 September 2001 were understood highlights how globalization defines threats and the policies adopted to deal with them, in the post-Cold War international order.
Abstract: Little research exists on how the conception of world order in terms of globalization defines security policy. The way the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, on 11 September 2001 were understood highlights how globalization defines threats, and the policies adopted to deal with them, in the post-Cold War international order. This article utilizes three elements of the globalization discourse (globality, globalization and globalism) identified by Ulrich Beck in analysing the Western reaction to the events of 11 September 2001. It is argued that the attacks reflected a new `strategic globality' in which the new civilian infrastructure of globalization enabled Third World groups to intervene in the West. In terms of globalization, the events of 11 September were seen as the realization of scenarios for post-Cold War insecurity that dominated the late 1990s. The terrorist attacks actualized the `ontological insecurity' which followed from the notion that globalization enabled threats to prolife...

56 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: When the well meaning "man from Mars" arrived at the United Nations in New York City and asked to be taken to that organization's leader, personnel at the security desk assumed that the Secretary-General was being sought They, thus, proceeded to direct the visitor to the 38th floor But diplomats encountered in the corridors promptly suggested to the misdirected Martian that he was in the wrong building as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: When the well meaning “man from Mars” arrived at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City and asked to be taken to that organization's leader, personnel at the security desk assumed that the Secretary-General was being sought They, thus, proceeded to direct the visitor to the 38th floor But diplomats encountered in the corridors promptly suggested to the misdirected Martian that he was in the wrong building “Cross First Avenue,” they instructed “The leader of the United Nations is in the US mission” The United States, however, denied this statement and assured the by now very confused Martian that, far from leading the United Nations, they were not even very interested in the organization “Go and talk to the Cubans, the Algerians, the Indians, or others from the Group of 77 They are leading the United Nations, and that is precisely why we Americans are not very interested” But the leaders of the Group of 77 explained to the alien visitor that their hold even on their own Third World group was at best tenuous “The United Nations,” they rather ruefully acknowledged, “is economically dominated by the North and politically controlled by the West,” who, the bewildered Martian discovered, are essentially the same people, although they have no address Among the pieces of advice given in this parable to the peripatetic Martian, the guidance offered by the Third World leadership was probably the most reliable The United Nations Organization—in New York and Geneva—as well as most, and certainly the most important, of the UN specialized agencies are Northern or Western creations, as are the world's institutions of economic management: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization These institutions establish, monitor, maintain, and enforce global regimes that further Northern and Western goals Moreover, …

46 citations