This paper reviews the Western and non-western civilizations and analyzes the studied material on the topics. There will be a discussion on the lineage of Western civilization, how it was affected throughout its existence, and what role Christianity played in the becoming of the civilization. Therefore, there will be an evaluation of the West’s impact and power, along with the non-western society’s contribution to the modern world, specifically African societies, and kingdoms.
The fact that determines the creation and the development of Western civilization is the massive spread of Christianity. The civilization, in that case, is” primarily assessed on the significance of the rise of abstract and symbolic systems,” according to Peters (2021).
Crusades were the main engine that affected culture, religion, and politics and determined the following path of the civilization’s progress. Christians actively and brutally suppressed any other forms of beliefs and were destroying people that did not want to accept the suggested religion and stood on their position against Christianity. Inevitably whether they liked it or not, Western civilization had to accept Christianity and change its traditions and rituals to survive. Since civilization consists of numerous countries (Lu et al., 2020), Christianity took over the large territory. Along with it, the core of their culture has shifted, and it has led to the modification of civilization as a whole.
Discussing the lineage of the Western civilization, it can be said that the main reason for its constant growth and evolution was its freedom. They had the ability to organize the free-market economy, which allowed them to strengthen connections between countries and cooperate with them. The exchange of goods and knowledge let them reach progress in science and, therefore, work on the creation of innovations. The competition between the nations only stimulated the lineage of Western civilization. According to Gregg (2019),” the nineteenth-century historian Lord Acton famously portrayed Western history as the movement in fits and starts from oppression towards liberty, understood as the minimization of unreasonable constraints.” Thereby the matter of freedom played a crucial role in the evolution of Western societies.
It can be said that the West still dominates the primary aspects of the market and economy, especially in central Europe. As Parker (2018) claims, “the particular interaction of religious traditions with political power” (p. 103) can define the status of the nation in the worldwide arena. Some cultures stay devoted to their old historical traditions and withstand any innovations and changes. Consequently, some African regions, for example, still struggle to implement modern technologies and integrate with other countries. The West might be considered a developed and progressive civilization known for constant innovations and outstanding achievements in science.
Another important fact is that some non-western regions, such as Africa, became periphery, and their development was significantly slower. Nevertheless, it did not stop them from cooperating. As Sibany (2018) claims: “Western technology has tremendously improved the lifestyle of Africans in various areas such as medicine, communication, transport, agriculture, sports, education, clothing, and so on.” (p. 69). That proves that the West is still leading in the world and has an opportunity to patronize other less developed regions.
Although the West might dominate the world, it would not happen without the contribution of non-western civilization. By consuming Western culture, Africans eventually adopted it, and after some time, it was hard to tell where to start the native traditions and end the foreign ones. African civilization had a significant impact on Western cultures and still influences them nowadays. Many sides of society’s life have an African impact, particularly culture, music, art, and fashion. Due to the massive acculturation, people started to forget the roots and origins of what they thought was Western. Sibany (2018) discusses the difference between cultural dynamism and acculturations and claims that “cultural dynamism takes place alongside acculturation, which is the emulation of the objects of one culture by another culture; acculturation takes place simply by a person or a group of persons beginning to adopt another culture” (p. 43). It is fatally for people to neglect the sources that serve to improve any cultural phenomenon they use and observe daily.
Evaluating what non-west society had the most positive impact, it seems reasonable to mention Mayas. According to Bulliet et al. (2019), “during Teotihuacan’s ascendancy in the north, the Maya developed an impressive civilization in today’s region, including Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and southern Mexico” (p. 312). Maya has made a crucial contribution to the development of humanity as a whole. Their most memorable achievement is the creation of the Mesoamerican calendar. They also took part in the development of writing and mathematics, but the creation measurement system for the time is the most impressive one. Mayas worried about the matter of time, and eventually, they invented two calendars. One tracked a ritual cycle where 260 days were parted into 13 months of 20 days (Bulliet et al., 2019), and the other one that the solar year and 365 days were parted into 18 months of 20 days with additional five days at the end of the year (Bulliet et al., 2019). Maya’s achievements in mathematics and writing contributed a lot to the development of modern astronomy and calendars. Bulliet (2019) states that “heir system of mathematics incorporated the concept of the zero and place value but had limited notational signs” (p. 313), and their writing reminded the hieroglyphics that were used to record important events and historical data.
To summarize the paper, it is crucial to mention that all the existed civilizations made their crucial contribution to the development of the modern world. Whether it was Western or non-western societies and kingdoms, they irreversibly impacted the history and the building of different modern cultural phenomena. However, Western society had more freedom and power than the two broader horizons and interconnected with other nations to strengthen its position. Therefore, Western society still takes one of the leading positions in innovations, a free-market economy, and science. Still, it is crucial to mention that non-western civilizations like African societies and kingdoms have also played an essential role in the becoming of the modern world. People are still learning to ignite African’s contribution to the art and cultural phenomena that appear in persons’ everyday life, but there were plenty of achievements. The most outstanding of all the non-western societies still seems to be Maya. They created the whole system of time and measurement of our existence that determines everything nowadays. People define the duration of their businesses, day, night, and whole life. The study and analyses of the Western and non-western civilizations showed the history behind contemporary life and emphasized the source of its creation.
Peters, M. A. (2021). Western civilization 101. Educational Philosophy and Theory, Web.
Sibani, C. M. (2018). Impact of western culture on traditional African society: problems and prospects. Journal of Religion and Human Relations, 10(1), 56-72.
Parker, C. G. (2018). Prevalent religions and multiple modernities: a non-western perspective. Culture and identity. London: IntechOpen, 91-112.
Gregg, S. (2019). The reason, faith, and the struggle for western civilization. Simon and Schuster.
Bulliet, R. W., et al., (2019). The earth and its people: A global history (7th ed.). Australia: Cengage.
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