Navigation

Follow Authorlink:

All about publishing a book, getting help to convert a PDF to eBook, and keeping up with publishing industry news

Search Book Reviews

The Struggle for Global Values by Dennis Dunn

The Struggle for Global Values
Orthodoxy, Islam, and Western Christianity and Their Impact on Civilization and Politics
Dennis Dunn

dd05@txstate.edu 
http://www.txstate.edu/history/people/faculty/dunn.html

Summary

The Struggle is a book on religion and history. Its audience is the broad reading public who are interested in why there is conflict between the United States and other Western countries and Islamic nations and non-Western countries like Russia. It would also appeal to the scholarly community and students of history and religion. It could be adopted as supplementary reading for courses on Western Civilization and World Civilization, on history of religion, and on comparative religion and international relations courses at the sophomore, junior, senior undergraduate levels and for graduate courses. It is written in a very lucid and accessible way.

Excerpts from Reviews or References

Church History (2005), the est journal in religious history, cited Dunn's last book as the "standard study of political history of Catholicism in Russia."

Ref. No. wr121102
Length 119,969 words

 


From The Book

Introduction

Dennis J. Dunn Project Proposal Memo

Title and subtitle: THE STRUGGLE FOR GLOBAL VALUES: THE EVOLUTION OF ORTHODOXY, ISLAM, AND WESTERN CHRISTIANITY, AND THEIR ROLE IN GLOBAL CIVILIZATION AND POLITICS

Author: Dennis J. Dunn is professor of history and director of international studies at Texas State University—San Marcos. He has published extensively on religion in Russia and the former Soviet Union and on American-Soviet relations. He was editor of the World Congress of Soviet and East European Studies’ manuscripts relating to religion and history/social sciences in 1987-90. His book on Roosevelt and Stalin won a nomination for best book on diplomacy by the American Academy of Diplomacy and an appearance on C-SPAN. He has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, a research fellow at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the Pacific Cultural Foundation in Taiwan. He has won major grants for his research and teaching from the American Bar Association (Chicago), American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, the Texas Educational Association Foundation, the United States Business & Industrial Council Education Foundation, West Foundation, National Strategy Information Center, Inc. (New York), the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program of the U.S. Department of Education, and the Texas Bureau For Economic Understanding. He was President of the Southwestern Association for Slavic Studies and program chair for the American Catholic Historical Association. He also manages the Kenneth and Verena Wilson Endowment for Faculty/Student Exchanges in Asian Studies, the Helen Ratliff Cleaves Memorial Endowment for Faculty/Student Exchange in Inter-American Studies, and the Ivar Gunnarson F.I.R.S.T. Fund. He won the President’s Research Excellence Award at Texas State and has been named three times the top research scholar in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State, including most recently in 2010. His monographs and edited books are listed below with a brief review. In addition, he has published over 25 articles in books and journals, including The Wilson Quarterly, the Journal of International Affairs, Survey, the Journal of Church and State, and The Catholic Historical Review.

Monographs:

The Catholic Church and Russia: Popes, Patriarchs, Tsars, and Commissars (London: Ashgate Publishers, 2004).

• “Without question, [Dunn’s book] is a solid piece of research and writing that will become the standard account of the political history of Catholicism in Russia.”—Church History

• Dunn tells a fascinating and informative story.”—Slavic Review

Caught Between Roosevelt and Stalin: American Ambassadors in Moscow (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998; trans. Mikhail Greben, Sergei Mitrich Publisher, Moscow, 2004).

• “This is an excellent book. Extremely well-researched by one of the finest scholars in the field of US-USSR relations…, This is a book that historians…will want to read and reread.”—Journal of Slavic Military Studies

• “Dunn has mastered the challenge of connecting ambassador’s experiences in Moscow with the larger narrative of Roosevelt’s policies toward the Soviet Union and the flow of events in Asia and Europe.”—American Historical Review

Détente and Papal-Communist Relations, 1962-1978. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1979.

• [Dunn has] produced an informative and thought-provoking volume.”—Journal of Church and State

• “Détente and Papal-Communist Relations…was a breakthrough in the field.”—Sabrina P. Ramet, Co-editor, Cambridge University Press’s Politics and Religion

The Catholic Church and the Soviet Government, 1939-1949 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977).

• “This is a book which we have long been awaiting….[It] is a fully documented, objective and clearly major work….On almost every page one admires the presentation of new material.”—Times Literary Supplement

• “The author deserves commendation for covering, as no one else has, the causes and course of rocky-Soviet-Vatican relations in the 1940s, and the predicament of Eastern Europe’s Catholics and Uniates traversing a most lethal decade.”—American Historical Review

Edited Books:

Religion and Nationalism in the Soviet Union and East Europe (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner, 1987).

• “Editor [provided] overview… on nationalism and religion in Communist countries and their interrelationship with the Marxist systems.”—Slavic Review

Religion in Communist Society (Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Slavic Studies, 1983).

• “Dennis J. Dunn skillfully edited the volume.”—Slavic Review

Religion and Modernization in the Soviet Union (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1977).

• “This book is particularly good.”—Slavic Review

New Book Description: This book tells the story of the struggle among the world’s three expansionist civilizations—Orthodox Civilization, Islamic Civilization, and Western Civilization—each powered by the missionary religions of Orthodoxy, Islam, and Western Christianity, to forge a common value system around the world in order to produce a global civilization or what is commonly call today globalization. It shows that each competing civilization offered a blueprint of development in the five key religio-political values of government type, church and state relations, war theory, community and individual interaction, and faith and reason compatibility. It further demonstrates that Western Civilization emerged as the leader in the drive for building a global value system because of its five religio-political values of limited government, separation of church and state, just war theory, individualism, and support for the compatibility of faith and reason and the fruit of such support, namely religious and secular rationalism. These values opened the door to a measure of human freedom and to human creativity and innovation and led the West to achieve dominance, admiration, and emulation by other cultures. In addition to telling for the first time the story of one of the metanarratives of history over the past two millennia, the book reveals that religion is a basic dynamic in global affairs and remains today, as in the past, a crucial determinant of world affairs, sometimes overtly, other times because the dominant West advances values derived from religious origins even without realizing or intending it. The book also shows that a religious sanction is helpful to governments not only to gain popular legitimacy, but also to avoid the black hole of ideology.

Selling points:

• Explains that globalization as we know it today is the result of a prolonged struggle among Orthodox Civilization, Islamic Civilization, and Western Civilization—the major civilizations in the world that were heavily influenced by the missionary faiths of Orthodoxy, Islam, and Western Christianity, respectively, and of Western Civilization's ascendancy to the leadership position in that struggle

• Demonstrates that the religio-political values of Western Civilization (limited government, separation of church and state, just war, individualism, and religion and secular rationalism), which Western Christianity partly caused and fully endorsed, powered the West’s ascendancy over Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations and all other civilizations because they made it possible for Western Civilization to tap into the creative talents of its people

• Explains that much of the continuing tension between the world of Islam, the world of Orthodoxy, and of Western Civilization is part of this hoary struggle that has been going on for some 1,400 years

• Shows that Western values continue to change societies as Westernization sweeps across the Middle East in the form of the protean “Arab Spring” and across Russia in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union because Western values open up opportunities for people to cultivate their abilities and talents

• Challenges conventional wisdom regarding the declining importance of religion as a driving force in modern history by arguing that religion has been a central element in international history for the past two millennia and continues to be so in the contemporary age

• Shows that religion remains today, as in the past, a crucial determinant of world affairs, sometimes overtly, other times because the dominant West advances values derived partly from religious origins even without realizing or intending it

• Shows that highly centralized government and the failure to separate church and state proscribe long-term and sustained development

• Demonstrates that ideology and secular materialism lead to totalist regimes and a world where the fruit of faith and reason—science and technology—can be turned against human life and civilized order

• Argues that Western values are transforming China, India, the Middle East, and other parts of the world’s civilizations

• provides an accessible summary of Western technological and scientific accomplishments

• shows modern ideology is tied to Western Civilization’s neglect of the religious aspect of its value system

• demonstrates Western Civilization’s centrality to world civilization and globalization

• presents a provocative interpretation of world history

• reveals that culture is critical to sustained creativity and innovation

• shows that religion is at the heart of globalization and that Western Christianity is at the heart of why the world has adopted Western religio-political values

MS Length: 119,969 words in manuscript, including endnotes and timeline. Bibliography has 8.093 words. Manuscript is finished. No permission is necessary for use of material, as far as I know. No illustrative material.

Table of Contents:

Page

Preface ii

Table of Contents iii

Timeline iv

Introduction 1

Chapter I: Orthodox civilization 13

Chapter one studies the early history of Christianity, when there were no separate Orthodox and Catholic Churches, and then gives an overview of the history of Orthodox Civilization, including its expansion in the Balkans and on the Eurasian plain where the East Slavic peoples reside. It also outlines the religio-political values of Orthodox Civilization, which I call Orthodoxization.

Chapter II: Islamic Civilization 59

Chapter two looks at the early history of Islam, and then presents a brief overview of Islamic Civilization, including its expansion in the Middle East, Central Asia, Eurasia, India, across North Africa, and into Spain and Sicily. It then describes the religio-political values of Islamic Civilization, which I name Islamization.

Chapter III: Western Civilization 94

Chapter three continues with the history of Christianity that was started in Chapter one, but now with the purpose of highlighting the cultural differences between Eastern and Western Christianity in order to provide some context for the advent of Western Civilization. It then gives an overview of Western Civilization, including its expansion in Europe, and, finally, turns to a description of the religio-political culture of Western Civilization, which I refer to as Westernization.

Chapter IV: The Western Model: Inventions in Culture and Technology 136

Chapter four examine the Western model that suddenly was in ascendancy from about the twelfth century. It attempts to paint a picture of the general and, in some cases, specific ideas and institutions that the religio-political value system of the West promoted. It lists some of Western Civilization's inventions and technology, focusing on examples that improved the standard of daily living, transportation, energy, agriculture, military, art and painting, education, law, literacy, history, music, politics, medicine and health, architecture and sculpture, science, literature, and economics.

Chapter V: The Western Model: Inventions in Education and Politics 160

Chapter five is a continuation of Chapter IV and examines the Western model of development in relation to education and politics.

Chapter VI: The Struggle of Civilizations: Fall of Rome to Early Modern Era 184

Chapter six gives attention to the struggle between Orthodox, Islamic, and Western Civilizations and the rivalry between Orthodoxization, Islamization, and Westernization. It starts by reviewing the battle between Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations and shows that Byzantine Orthodox Civilization slowly but surely lost ground to the advance of Islam and eventually in the fifteenth century was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. During that epic struggle, Western Civilization first emerged and lent some minor assistance to the Orthodox, but the Catholic Europeans were more focused on their internal affairs than on the centuries-long battle between Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations. Of course, both Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations were far ahead of Western Civilization in the ninth century when Western Civilization clearly appeared and for a few centuries thereafter in terms of accomplishments, standard of living, and military prowess, but even then the spirit of Western Civilization, driven by Catholicism and the unformed and often competitive nature of political units in the West, was more creative, more open to change, more analytical in approaching and finding efficient solutions to problems, more willing to use and improve upon the insights of other civilizations, more optimistic, more rational—in short, just plain more dynamic—than the spirit of both Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations and, for that matter, all other civilizations.

The chapter then delves into the story of the struggle between Western and Islamic Civilizations. It shows Western Civilization’s march to victory. It also touches on the fact that the Russians tried to pick up the fallen banner of Orthodoxy, but were prudent about challenging either Western or Islamic Civilization. Once it became clear that Western Civilization was the stronger order, the Russians tried, with some success, to borrow Western science and technology without adopting the Western value system, particularly limited government and separation of church and state. They also were quite willing to pick the bones of Islamic Civilization, but worked within the political framework that the powers of Western Civilization imposed.

Chapter VII: Ascent of the Western Civilization 213

Chapter seven pursues the advance of Westernization beyond Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations to the rest of the world. It continues to study the history of Orthodox and Islamic Civilizations, but now, as with the other civilizations in the world, as subjects of Westernization. The voyages of discovery and the major advances of Westernization around the globe, in Russia, India, North America, Japan, China, Asia, Africa, and the Ottoman Empire are outlined.

Chapter VIII: Western Civilization: Ideology 236

Chapter eight turns to the subject of ideology, which begins roughly in the seventeenth century and blossoms in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Ideology represented a break with the religio-political value system of the West, a veering away from religious rationalism and secular rationalism onto a third path for organizing society, the road of material rationalism, which led to the suspension of limited government and to the totalist regimes of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. This departure from the religiously based value system of Western Civilization led to a deep fracture and weakening of Western Civilization.

Chapter IX: Western Religio-Political Values vs. Ideology, 1917-45 267

Chapter nine examines the emergence of the ideological states of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and their allies in Japan, and the threat that these states constituted to Western Civilization. It also describes the religiosity of the United States, which helps explain why it became the major defender of the religio-political values of Western Civilization against the ideological states of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and imperial Japan. It outlines United States policy leading up to and during World War II, which included an ill-fated alliance with Communist Russia.

Chapter X: Collapse of Communism and Resurgence of Westernization 293

Chapter ten looks at the West’s push against Communism after World War II up to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the period of the so-called Cold War. This chapter also includes a description of the United States’ effort to revive Europe after its experience with ideology and war, an effort that was unbelievably successful in rebuilding the institutions of democracy and capitalism. The United States also gave its model of separation of church and state to the new European Union that grew after World War II. This chapter also explains why the Soviet Empire imploded and describes the post-WWII and post-Cold War expansion of Western religio-political values around the globe.

Chapter XI: Western Religio-Political Values vs. Islamic Extremism 324

Chapter eleven turns to the revival of Islamization and, particularly, of Islamic extremism as a movement that is offering itself in contemporary times as an alternative to Westernization in the drive toward global cooperation and integration. It finds that extremist Islamization, with its theocratic authoritarianism and support for violence, is not a long-term contender for fostering a culturally tolerant foundation for globalization. Westernization continues to hold sway and is growing even in traditional Islamic societies.

Chapter XII: Conclusion 353

Chapter twelve provides a brief summary and conclusion.

Endnotes 363

Bibliography 420

Audience:

The Struggle is a book on religion and history. Its audience is the broad reading public who are interested in why there is conflict between the United States and other Western countries and Islamic nations and non-Western countries like Russia. It would also appeal to the scholarly community and students of history and religion. It could be adopted as supplementary reading for courses on Western Civilization and World Civilization, on history of religion, and on comparative religion and international relations courses at the sophomore, junior, senior undergraduate levels and for graduate courses. It is written in a very lucid and accessible way.

Competition and Comparisons:

As far as I know, there is no book that offers a comparative study of the religio-political values that Orthodoxy, Islam, and Western Christianity partly originated and fully endorsed and that defined the Civilizations that these religions were associated with and that pushed Western Civilization to the forefront in the struggle to form a global civilization.

There is an excellent study comparing early and medieval Christianity and Islam by Antony Black, 2008, The West and Islam: Religion and Political Thought in World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Samuel Huntington, 1996, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster), deals partly with the subject, but he overlooks the growth of Western religio-political values around the globe and, as a result, stresses the “clash” rather than the synthesis of values that are making globalization possible.

 


About The Author
Dennis Dunn

dd05@txstate.edu 
http://www.txstate.edu/history/people/faculty/dunn.html

Author or editor of seven books and author of over 25 articles and over 200 book reviews.

Professor of History and Director of International Studies, Texas State University (PhD, History, Kent State University, MA, History, John Carroll University).

Recent Projects

The Catholic Church and Russia: Popes, Patriarchs, Tsars, and Commissars (Ashgate, 2004) Caught Between Roosevelt and Stalin: America's Ambassador to Moscow (Kentucky, 1998; Moscow, 2004).


Copyright 2012 – 2013, Dennis Dunn