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The Unity of Western Civilization

The Unity of Western Civilization
Title: The Unity of Western Civilization
Release Date: 2005-02-12
Type book: Text
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Unity of Civilization, by Various, Editedby F. S. Marvin

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Title: The Unity of Civilization

Author: Various

Release Date: February 12, 2005 [eBook #15030]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE UNITY OF CIVILIZATION***

 

E-text prepared by Ted Garvin, Garrett Alley,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team

 


 

 

THE UNITY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

ESSAYS ARRANGED AND EDITED

BY

F. S. MARVIN

SOMETIME SENIOR SCHOLAR OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD

AUTHOR OF THE LIVING PAST

 

 

Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
London    Edinburgh   Glasgow    New York
Toronto    Melbourne    Bombay

1915

 

 

 

PREFACE

The following essays are the substance of a course of lectures deliveredat a Summer School at the Woodbrooke Settlement, near Birmingham, inAugust 1915. The general purpose of the course will be apparent from theessays themselves. No forced or mechanical uniformity of view was aimedat. The writers will be found, very naturally and properly, to differ indetail and in the stress they lay on different aspects of the case. Butthey agree in thinking that while our country's cause and the cause ofour Allies is just and necessary and must be prosecuted with the utmostvigour, it is not inopportune to reflect on those common andineradicable elements in the civilization of the West which tend to forma real commonwealth of nations and will survive even the most shatteringof conflicts. That we on the Allied side stand fundamentally for thisideal is one of our most valuable assets.

The fact that the lectures were delivered at a settlement for trainingpersons for social work in a religious spirit, suggested to more thanone of those who took part in the course, how similar is the task whichnow lies before us in international affairs to that which Canon Barnettinitiated thirty years ago for the treatment of the social question athome. We need in both cases to associate ourselves mentally with othersin order to realize the common elements which underlie the seemingdiversity in the civilization of the West.

The method of the course was primarily historical, though certain essayshave been added of a more idealist type. It is hoped that the point ofview suggested, though prompted by current events, may be found to havesome permanent value. It could obviously be applied to many otheraspects of European life, e.g. morality and politics, to whichconditions of space have only permitted indirect reference to be made inthis volume.

F.S.M.


CONTENTS

   Page


ANALYSIS7
ChapterIINTRODUCTORY: THE GROUNDS OF UNITY
By F. S. MARVIN.
17
ChapterIIUNITY IN PREHISTORIC TIMES
By J.L. MYRES, Wykeham Professor ofAncient History, Oxford.
35
ChapterIIITHE CONTRIBUTION OF GREECE AND ROME
By J.A. SMITH, Waynflete Professor of
Mental and Moral Philosophy, Oxford.
69
ChapterIVUNITY IN THE MIDDLE AGES
By ERNEST BARKER, Fellow of New College,Oxford.
91
ChapterVUNITY AND DIVERSITY IN LAW
By W.M. GELDART, Vinerian Professor ofEnglish Law, Oxford.
122
ChapterVITHE COMMON ELEMENTS IN EUROPEAN LITERATURE AND ART
By the Rev. Dr. A.J. CARLYLE, UniversityCollege, Oxford.
137
ChapterVIISCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY AS UNIFYING FORCES
By L.T. HOBHOUSE, White Professor ofSociology,
University of London.
162
ChapterVIIITHE UNITY OF WESTERN EDUCATION
By J.W. HEADLAM, late Fellow of King'sCollege, Cambridge.
180
ChapterIXCOMMERCE AND FINANCE AS INTERNATIONAL FORCES
By HARTLEY WITHERS.
198
ChapterXINTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIAL LEGISLATION
By CONSTANCE SMITH, sometime BritishDelegate on
International Bureau forIndustrial Legislation.
222
ChapterXICOMMON IDEALS OF SOCIAL REFORM
By C. DELISLE BURNS.
242
ChapterXIITHE POLITICAL BASES OF A WORLD-STATE
By J.A. HOBSON.
260
ChapterXIIIRELIGION AS A UNIFYING INFLUENCE IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION
By H.G. WOOD, late Fellow of Jesus College,Cambridge.
280
ChapterXIVTHE GROWTH OF HUMANITY
by F. S. MARVIN.
301

ANALYSIS

CHAPTER I. THE GROUNDS OF UNITY

The appeal to history. Previous great schisms in Europe which have beensurmounted give hope for the present. The Reformation. The NapoleonicWars.

The two points of view, (1) Man's nature itself tending to unity throughconflict. (2) The stages in the process developed in history.

In pre-history conflict and diversity are predominant, though thenecessities of life prescribe certain uniformities. Consolidation comesin favoured physical conditions, especially great river-basins like theNile and the Euphrates.

The possibility of a world-unity first consciously envisaged in theGreco-Roman world. Greece gives unity in thought, Rome in practice.Order with a solid intellectual foundation established with the RomanEmpire. In the mediaeval world a unity mainly spiritual is reached inthe same framework. The position of Germany in this development. Thebreak-up of the fourteenth and fifteenth century. The enlargement of theknown world and the growth of wealth and knowledge. This crisis stillcontinues and has been recently accentuated by the birth-throes ofnationalities. The supreme problem for international unity is now thereconciliation of national units with the interests of the whole.Underneath the superficial turmoil the great unifying forces of scienceand of common sentiments continue to grow and will ultimately prevail.

CHAPTER II. UNITY IN PREHISTORIC TIMES

Retrospect of the search for unity in man's affairs, in its politicaland scientific bearings.

The Unity of Man as an Animal Species. Ancient beliefs, doubts suggestedby the practice of slavery, their solution, and the modern conception ofa 'Human Family'.

The unity of man as a rational animal struggling against nature forsubsistence. Archaeological evidence as to the reasonableness ofprimitive culture on its material side; doubts raised by man'sirrational 'barbarities' on the social plane. Lévy Bruhl's hypothesis ofa 'savage logic' and the Greek analysis of wrongdoing as rooted inignorance.

Man's struggle with Nature in the N.W. Quadrant of the Old World. Unityhere not to be found in the Food Quest. Prehistoric Europe shows varietyof regimens, hoe-agriculture, pastoral nomadism. The wheel and theplough and the composite bread and cheese culture.

Race, Language, and Culture as Factors of Unity. The spread of theEuropean Bread Culture is earlier than that of Indo-European Speech andprobably than that of the 'Alpine' type of man. Race in Europe has lednot to unity but to discord, and linguistic affinity does not ensuremutual intelligibility.

CHAPTER III. THE CONTRIBUTION OF GREECE AND ROME

Contemporary history is the only genuine and important history, thepresent is the only object of historical knowledge; what the present isand how, properly conceived, it gives history its unity and justifiesthe study of what is past (ancient history); all history is ourhistory, and otherwise without meaning or value to us. The history ofclassical antiquity is the history of the youth of the modern world, ofthe formation of the now latent but still potent hopes, fears, designsand thoughts which constitute the substratum of the European mind; howthis still unites a divided Europe and affords a ground of hope for arestored and deepened union. Our debt to the Greeks: (a) the verynotion of civilization, (b) the idea of its realization throughknowledge, (c) the ideal of freedom as the inner spirit of truecivilization. How the Greeks failed to work all this out in both theoryand practice, and how nevertheless they taught their lesson to theworld; the services of Greece to the world in the creation of Art, theSciences, and Philosophy; the Greek ideal of a life beyond 'civilized'life, but rendered possible by it, and thus giving to civilized life anew and higher value; defects and merits of this ideal.

The Romans are inheritors of all this; how, while making it moreprosaic, they rendered it more practical and more effectually realizedit. All this most visible in the Imperial period. The Roman ideal:(a) world-wide peace, (b) secured and maintained by a centralizedsystem of laws issuing from and enforced by a single power. Influence ofthis ideal on later and modern thought and practice. Causes of itsdecline and fall: (a) ignorance of the economic substructure ofcivilized life, (b) neglect of opportunities to extend and defend it,(c) the rise of the idea of nationality. The Revolution as the lastgreat attempt to reinstate the full Roman ideal in its outworn form.

Lessons still to be learned by us from the study of both the success andthe failure of Greco-Roman civilization; how the consideration of thesemay at once sober our expectations and inspire us with hope in thepresent. The forces which created it still maintain it and show no signsof exhaustion. But that they may continue in effect we must study theseforces and learn the lessons the ancient experience of their workingconveys, exerting ourselves first to understand Greco-Roman thought andpractice and then to better their instruction.

CHAPTER IV. THE MIDDLE AGES

I. The mediaeval world. Geographical extent. Economic structure: itsfeatures of uniformity and isolation: the effect of the rise of anational economy on mediaeval society. Linguistic basis. Mediaevalscheme that of a general European system of estates rather than of abalance of powers.

II. The unity of mediaeval civilization in its great period (1050-1300)ecclesiastical. The attempt of the Church to achieve a general synthesisof human life by the application of Christian principle. (1) The controlof war and peace and the feudal world: the Truce of God and theCrusades: the papacy as an international authority: the mediaevalconception of war. (2) The control of trade and commerce and theeconomic world: just wages and prices: the mediaeval town. (3) Thecontrol of learning and education and the world of thought:reconciliation of Greek science and the Christian faith: allegoricalinterpretation of the world and its effects on natural science.

III. The mediaeval theory of society. The organic conception of society:mediaeval thought naturaliter Platonica. The one society of mankind.Hence (1) little conception of the State or sovereignty or State law;but the universal society has nevertheless to be reconciled in some waywith the existence of different kingdoms. Hence, again, (2) nodistinction of Church and State as two separate societies: these aretwo separate authorities, regnum and sacerdotium, but they governthe same society. The one society of mankind an ecclesiastical schemeuniting a great variety of personal groupings.

IV. The influence of law on the development of the kingdom into thestate—a process begun early in England and France, but only generallyachieved about 1500. The new conditions—geographical, economic,linguistic—which prepare the way for the new world of the sixteenthcentury. The gulf between that world and the old mediaeval world. Thehope of unity to-day.

CHAPTER V. UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN LAW

The Problem in the Ancient World. Law universal and supreme over mankind(Sophocles, Antigone). Law arbitrary and varying from place to place(Herodotus). Nature and convention. The 'rightlessness' of the strangerin antiquity. The law was a 'law of citizens'. Admission of theforeigner to legal protection. Rome develops a law of the men of allnations (ius gentium), which reacts upon the law of citizens (iuscivile), and ultimately coalesces with it. The law of nature.

The break-up of the Ancient World; the Middle Ages. The invaders bringtheir own law with them. In the kingdoms which they founded each man hadhis 'personal law'. Local Law. Feudal Law. The beginnings of NationalLaw: England, France, Germany. Roman Law in the Middle Ages. The CanonLaw.

The Modern World. The reception of Roman Law. State Sovereignty. TheModern Codes. Unity and diversity of law within the political unit. Theworld divided into territories of the English Common Law and lands whereRoman Law conceptions prevail. Forces making for unity: the notion of a'law of nature'; the pursuit of common ends. International law, privateand public.

CHAPTER VI. THE COMMON ELEMENTS IN EUROPEAN LITERATURE AND ART

The question of the place of nationality in art and literature. It haslittle or

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