Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cultural realms, civilizations

I have found the following conceptual framework of world civilizations by Jan Broek ("A Geography of Mankind" (1968,1973,1978), Jan O.M. Broek and John W. Webb) very useful.

A. Major civilizations:

 1. Occidental (Christian)
 2, Main Islamic (excluding SE Asia)
 3. Indic (Hindu)
 4. Sinic (East Asian)

B. Minor civilizations:

 5. Southeast Asian
 6. Meso-African (Negro-African, sub-Saharan African)
 7. Southern Pacific (Melanesian-Polynesian)

"The Clash of Civilizations" by Samuel P. Huntington provides a more contemporary, more geo-political, framework, shown in the following map (map source: Wikipedia):

Broek's conceptual framework accommodates Huntington's nine civilizations, thus:

A, 4 Major Civilizations:

1. Christian
   a. Western
   b. Latin American
   c. Orthodox

 2. Islamic

 3. Indic
    a. Hindu
    b. Buddhist

 4. Sinic
    a. Chinese-Korean-Vietnamese
    b. Japanese

B. Minor Civilization:

  5. Meso-African

A similar view of the major civilizations can be gained by examining the spread of the major religions.


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