January 16, 2009

More on Christianity and the West

Regarding Christianity and the West, Samuel P. Huntington was generally on the mark.  Although he might have been wrong about some things (here, here and here), he was correct about others, including the fact the West could not be equated with Christianity (in the sense that being Christian is not a sufficient condition for being Western) – if for no other reason than Christianity has always existed outside the West, and non-Western cultures appropriated Christianity in different ways.  For example, although Central and South America may be predominately Christian, they combined these Christian elements with their Amerindian heritage [excluding Argentina and parts of Chile], thus creating a new civilization, one he called Latin America.

Update:? Although Huntington was correct about Central and South America (just witness a K?iche?e Mass in Chiquimula, which, as one priest told me, pays special attention to ?traditional Mayan symbols, calendar and cosmology?), I think he was wrong about Orthodox Europe not being a part of the West.  (It especially seems absurd?to exclude Greece from the West.)  This exclusion might have been in part due to his Cold War sensibilities.

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