The term and definition of a ‘civilisation’ is one that has been debated and questioned time and again. For an individual to find a one true definition of the word civilisation is almost impossible. A civilization is a cultural entity. “Regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, and religious groups all have distinct cultures, and all of these play a part in shaping a civilization. Civilizations are created from groups of people who share common religions, values, ethnicities, and historical memories, or are brought together geographically.” (Rosen. H) Civilisations are difficult to define because they are by nature slippery; not only are they large, amorphous entities but they also change over time, shedding and acquiring not only characteristics but also geographical regions.’ (Melleuish G).
Some academics believe that we will never be able to exactly define what civilisations are. This is because they are large entities that change considerably acquiring new characteristics, and changing geographically over time. It is hard for anyone to define civilisation, and even harder to fit a certain group of people in any definition of civilization. The lines dividing civilisations are often blurred, and it is increasingly difficult to divide the world into certain civilisations.
Basic to the human condition is the need to explain. Humanity has always had a sense of the Supreme being. There is not a culture in the world, now or in the past that has not had some concept of a supreme being. This is why there is a tendency for people to define civilisations by religion.
ter> Essay: Explain the rise of Civilization and include 3 basic features. A civilization is the starting point of a society. Civilizations have existed for millions of years and are the basic unit of structure for a society. Civilizations were the base of great societies such as Egypt and Rome. If not for civilizations these societies would not have flourished or even existed. A civilization ...
People need to define their situation and give it boundaries, and do the same for other situations. Using religion can be a way of achieving this. Religion is used to explain many things about person and cultures behaviour. It is very easy for someone to use religion to explain what makes one people group (and it’s sense of civilisation) go to war in an effort to conquer another people group. Religion has often determined the social order within a civilisation, and may help some people to define themselves. However using religion to define civilisation can be ineffective.
Huntington in his article “The Clash of Civilisations” argues that Civilisations should be resistant to change and have no desire to convert top the religion of another civilisation. Melleuish however points out “we are living through one of the great ages of missionary activity” (Melleuish, 2000).
Most people do not follow the same religion as their ancestors had 2000 years ago. Throughout history, religions have had a tendency to jump civilisations. The Middle East was once a Christian stronghold, and Spain was once an Islamic state. This is no longer the case however, yet there are still civilisations in the Middle East and Spain.
People can and have often used religion to define civilisations to put groups of people a certain group, and use religion to explain cultures behaviour. Dividing Civilisations by religion is at a glance, is a very simple solution to a complex problem, however it ignores many important factors, which are vital in determining a civilisation. One issue that exposes tribulations with the use of religion, as a catalyst for differentiation is the multicultural nature of allot of today’s nations. People talk about “the Islamic world” or “the Western world” which is often defined to be the Christian world. Civilizations are very hard to divide by religion, given the diversities within each society as well as the linkages among different countries and cultures. One example of this would be India.
If we were stripped of our day-to-day activities, would you just wander around aimlessly, or would you default to the things that have been ingrained into our brains since we were little? What defines you? It could be your job, the fact that you are an A star student, a parent, or maybe it could be the things you love like your car or your impressive record collection. The problem is, what happens ...
India is often described as a “Hindu civilization.” However, India has the third largest Muslims population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan. It is futile to try to understand Indian art, literature, music, food or politics without seeing the extensive interactions across barriers of religious communities. These include Hindus and Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsees, Christians Jews, and even atheists and agnostics. (Sen. A) Throughout history, religion has been used as motivation during times of war. People are encouraged to fight under a religious banner, such as when soldiers under the banner of Catholicism took control of Spain, which at the time was an Islamic state.
Another example is the battle of Lepanto, in which the holy league, made up of many Christian nations, fought under the banner of the cross against the Ottomans who fought under the banner of the crescent moon of Islam. Religion was used in these cases to separate the two civilisations, and to motivate the forces by giving them the impression that a divine power was protecting them and helping them in battle. Using Religion as a way of dividing civilisations is a very inaccurate way of dividing the world. Throughout history, Muslims have fought Muslims and forged alliances with Christians. Christians have fought Christians and Forged alliances with Muslims. Throughout history, the two religions have clashed, or more accurately, people who follow their respective religions have clashed due to their different views.
However, it is human nature to fight against things that are different. Wars have been fought over ideals, economic systems and views on slavery. Dividing Civilisations by religion is at a glance, a very simple solution to a complex problem. It is a way for people to define their environment, which may seem simple, however it ignores many important factors, which need to be considered if one is to define a civilisation. There are other factors that are of equal or greater importance that need to be considered, such as “the cultural aspects of the civilisation, economic factors, alliances with other nations, positioning on the globe and so on.” (Pember. B) Religion alone is an insufficient method of differentiating between civilisations.
A Jewish–American author by the name of Isaac Bashevis Singer gave a quote which says; “Doubt is part of all religion, all religious thinkers were doubters”. Religion has always been very controversial in within society as there were always theories that were not proven as fact, problematic agendas within the various religions. The world most violent problems have everyone from politicians to ...
There is no doubt that using religion as a way for differentiation between civilisations and cultures is important and valuable. However, “using religion alone will not be desirable as there are many problems and flaws that need to be answered by other means. Things like the population make up of the nation, the ease of transfer and change of religion and the ability of religion to change civilisations leave holes in the use of religion that can only be answered by other means.” (Pember. B) The way a civilisations culture has developed, its history, its advancements and its attitudes towards other civilisations all help define a civilisation. Civilisations come out of interaction of human culture and their environments. Plasticity of human response to situations they have to face, environmental circumstances within which they have to live..