From talk of a ‘poisonous doctrine’ to mistaken beliefs that he hailed from Africa, Western thinkers got Buddhism wrong for a long time.
Western civilisation and Islam are sometimes seen as diametrically opposed. Yet Islamic cultures have contributed much to the West, in language, philosophy and literature.
“Western civilization” has always been tangled up with Africa, Asia and the Americas. In other words, there never was a West without the Rest.
The Parthenon has been seen as central to the history of Western civilisation. But the building has a troubled past that is somewhat at odds with our ideas of democratic values.
US president Donald Trump’s industrial scale deception has dangerous implications everywhere. What then, can we do to foster a more civilised society?
Some today declare that “Western civilisation” is something we should all be simply “for”. But the enlightenment, central to this civilisation, shows how things are rarely so simple.
The new Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation aims to ‘revive’ liberal arts and the humanities. Yet the ‘civilisation’ model of history is now viewed as deeply flawed.