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Introduction: Western Civilization in the Modern Era. The End of History and the Last Man - Francis Fukuyama 1992.

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Introduction: Western Civilization in the Modern Era

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Introduction western civilization in the modern era l.jpg

Introduction: Western Civilization in the Modern Era


The end of history and the last man francis fukuyama 1992 l.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man- Francis Fukuyama 1992

The contemporary West at the end of the Cold War [1989] is “the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”


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We are the champions

  • Modern era rife w/ ideological conflict

  • End of Cold War means:- triumph of Liberalism- triumph of free markets (capitalism)

  • Western politics, ethics, economics achieve global dominance


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The “End” of History?

  • History for human reasons- human nature Greeks / Romans / Christians

  • We are a product of the age- stages (dialectic) Hegel

  • We are a product of larger forces- Marx


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A “sad” ending?

  • Maintaining, not expanding…- standard of living- ecology

  • No alternative but Nihilism…


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The essential, undeniable fact is that the West was the first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

The Betrayal of the West 1978 - Jacques Ellul


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I. The story so far…

200,000 BCE – Homo sapiens

50,000 BCE – intellectually “us”

8,000 BCE – agriculture

5,000 BCE – civilization

1200 BCE – sky gods/monotheism

500 BCE – 500 CE“Classical” civilization

500 – 1500 CE – Middle Ages


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II. The Roots of Modernity ca. 1500-1969

Collapse of Medieval Europe

The Renaissance

The Reformation


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A. Collapse of Medieval Europe

100 Years War

Ecological Crisis

Religious Controversy


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B. The Renaissance 1350-1650

Emphasis on human achievement- centrality of this life


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C. The Reformation

Martin Luther / John Calvin

Individual & salvationNationalism & the state


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D. The Nation-State

Decline in Church Primacy

Exploration / colonization

Market Revolution


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III. Era of Western Dominance

Age of Revolutionsintellectual

economic / ecological

political


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