Ideas that shaped Western and Eastern cultures

Scholars have noted the major thoughts and philosophies that have influenced Western civilization and Asian cultures.

The 3 major influences of Western civilization are Greek culture, Roman culture, and Christianity.

“The Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions are the two principal components of Western civilization.” — in Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, Volume 2 by Marvin Perry, Myrna Chase, James Jacob, Margaret Jacob, Theodore Von Laue, p. xxiii)

“Christianity, no less than the Greek and the Roman legacy, has been chosen by many historians as the most important cultural “foundation” of the West.” — in The Uniqueness of Western Civilization by Ricardo Duchesne, p. 461.

The 3 major influences of (many) Asian cultures are Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

“Many Asian cultures are influenced by the philosophies of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Among the values that appear common to many Asian cultures are those of harmony; humility; and respect for family, authority, and tradition.” — in An Introduction to Multicultural Counseling by Wanda M. L. Lee, p. 104.

“… Buddhism and Taoism represent two other strong influences, alongside Confucianism, on Chinese culture and society. These three streams of thought fused together to form the Chinese view of man’s place in society and influenced Chinese character and personality development.” — in New Asian Emperors: The Business Strategies of the Overseas Chinese By George T. Haley, Usha C. V. Haley, ChinHwee Tan, p. 1964.

Here’s the question, then: What would it look like if Christianity were to influence Asian cultures more?

Church of the Holy Mother. Sheshan. Shanghai, China

[photo credit: santochino]

[update 7/1/14] also refer to ChinaSource Quarterly (Spring 2014, Vol. 16, No. 4) titled “Confucius and Christ: Conflict, Compromise or Communication” (PDF) for related articles:


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