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By Johann P. Arnason

The transforming into curiosity in civilizations, either at the point of political controversy ("the conflict of civilizations") and within the context of scholarly debates, demands extra theoretical mirrored image at the difficulties and views crucial to this box of social inquiry. This quantity incorporates a systematic and demanding survey of classical and modern techniques to comparative civilizational research. It is going directly to define a theoretical version that pulls at the paintings of ancient sociologists in addition to on comparative cultural and highbrow. Civilizations are analysed as multi-dimensional formations, with specific emphasis on cultural orientations, but in addition at the self sustaining dynamics of political and fiscal associations. The final bankruptcy applies this line of argument to questions raised by means of critics of Eurocentrism and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of post-colonial conception.

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Stern’s analysis of the indigenous background to Indian democracy seems to follow Dumont in that it assumes a far-reaching dilution and fragmentation of the political. But Dumont’s views on this subject have not gone unchallenged. g. Dirks, 1987; Heesterman, 1985), the boundary between priestly and kingly power was less clearly drawn, less reducible to a division of sacred and secular authority, and more open to contestation and redefinition from various angles 22   than Dumont’s over-systematized model would lead us to believe.

72) across the watershed of modernization and the reaffirmation of non-Western traditions after the first wave of modernization are invoked as evidence against universalism. The supposedly inviolate civilizational cores are identified with valueorientations and collective identities, more or less explicitly linked to religious traditions, and the implicit theoretical assumption—never argued in more detailed terms—is that the modern transformation cannot lead to fundamental changes on this level. Those who reject that claim do not ipso facto defend the idea of modernity as a new civilization.

The first wave of Islamic expansion led to the conquest of older civilizations which had developed different ways of regulating the coexistence of religious and political institutions; the unavoidable adaptation to their multiple legacies led to tensions and conflicts within the new Islamic elite, and thus to a new—albeit limited— polarization of the religious and the political. Another phase of differentiation began when Central Asian converts to Islam seized power in its original heartland. Their innovations in the level of state structures, as well as the reactions of Islamic societies to their rule, set the pattern for imperial formations which came to dominate much of the Islamic world.

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