Saturday, March 22, 2014

Global Civilization in the 21st Century

Authors: Andrew Targowski (Western Michigan University, MI, USA)

Please note that you, as well as any of your colleagues or your libraries with an interest in the field, are also entitled to a special 40% discount on all prepublication orders. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please email Tricia Worthington at and enter Prepub40 in the subject line of the email. Multiple copy orders are welcome and we offer bulk order discounts as well. The offer for the book, its full price is $85.00 with 40% discount is $51.00.

Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 

400 Oser Avenue, Suite 1600 

Hauppauge, N.Y. USA, 11788-3619


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Online CCR article availability

Online CCR article availability

Reaching back to 1979 there are 892 searchable items including Front Matter, Editor's Notes, Articles, Book Reviews, Letters to the Editor and End Matter. All items are searchable by date, issue, title, author and other refined characteristics. The current, but growing list of authors covers 14 pages.  Once an item is found, it is easy to find the letters PDF just below the page number for the article. Clicking on PDF opens a new window which may actually display the article, but if not simply click on the words Download This PDF File, located just under the new window on the left, and the article will begin the downloading process onto your computer. You can then open it and read or print it at your convenience.

For over a year articles from Comparative Civilizations Review have been available online. Access is through an easy to use link,
prominently displayed in the center of the home page of the ISCSC website:

Our Society owes a debt of gratitude to Connie Lamb for making this a part of what we offer for researchers and scholars. The countless hours she dedicated to making the online presence of CCR make Connie most deserving of a wellspring of kudos from all those who will benefit from her dedication.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jacob Burckhardt, Swiss Philosopher of History—100th Anniversary of His Death 1897

Jacob Burckhardt, Swiss Philosopher of History—100th Anniversary of His Death 1897 By Bertil Haggman,


A Few Reflections and Notes

Jacob Burckhardt's Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen were translated and published in English in the 1940s. The original version in German was published post-humously.

The book is based on lectures by Burckhardt in 1868 and 1871. The first four chapters are an ‘Introduction to the ‘Study of History’. It deals with the historical process and the three main forces that shape a civilization: State, Religion and Culture.

The establishment of a state or a religion is often the result of the displacement of a previous power that has become corrupt or decadent. It is often based on ideals to set up a new order. But the new order has to maintain itself in power. Therefore power in the end has a corrosive action on humanity. The role of the state is therefore to check factions, who want to gain power by the means of force, and to maintain a sense of security and continuity.

Religions, so Burckhardt, are the expression of human nature's eternal and indestructable meta-physical need. Religion is also a constant which seeks to maintain a stable and perdurable state of a civilization.

Change is the essence of history. Thus culture is the most important element of a civilization:

“Culture may be defined as the sum total of those mental developments which take place spontaneously and lay no claim to universal or compulsive authority….Its total external form…as distinguished from the State and Religion, is society in its broadest sense.” (p.140).

In a chapter on crisis of history JB discusses the accelerated movement of the process of history. It is when developments that normally take centuries pass by in a few months or even a few days.

Several parts of this section of the book is a warning to our time as JB has often been described as a prophetic philosopher of history. No doubt he saw in the 19th century the omens of coming ‘tremendous national wars’ (p.292), and an escalating concern for moneymaking and self-interest. JB's popularity in Britain and the United States to a great extent comes from his warnings of a coming struggle between freedom and the all powerful State as experienced in the struggle agains the totalitarian forces of fascism, national socialism and marxism-leninism.

Another important section in Force & Freedom, that on fortune and misfortune in history, deals with interpretation of history. Our study of the past must be free of egoism, ulterior motives and vain assumptions of superiority. Moral progress is relevant to the life of the individual and not to whole epochs. If, even in bygone times, men gave their lives for each other, we have not progressed since.

JB was critical of progress. His insight that power never yet improved a man made him well aware that progress is an ephemeral ideal based rather on wishful thinking than on actuality. He thus rejected an approach to history based on political events as such or study of powerful individuals. No doubt there are crucial developments in history that influence all subsequent periods but it is wrong to see progress in such events and deduce continuos improvements from them.


 Bertil Haggman

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

News from Dario Fernandez-Morera:

The journal Zeta No. 1923 has published a short summary and review in Spanish of my article on "Some overlooked Aspects of Jewish civilization under Islam in Medieval Spain."  Zeta is an international journal widely read in the Spanish-speaking world. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2014 ISCSC Conference CFP

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

Please find attached the Call for Papers for the June 2014 conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations.

The Theme for 2014 is "Can Collective Wisdom Save Civilization?". The conference will be held at Monmouth University on the New Jersey shore, a lively, scenic location with the Atlantic Ocean and boardwalk nearby. An excursion is being planned for interested delegates, and there will also be reduced registration fees for graduate students.

If you have and/or are currently writing a paper that you think fits the theme, or is otherwise related to civilizational issues in general, please consider submitting an abstract by April 1, 2014. Please submit abstracts to:

Also, would you please forward this Call to anyone you think might be interested?
Our apologies if you received notice of this Call under another cover - please excuse the cross posting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Best regards,

David J. Rosner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Metropolitan College of New York
President, International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations

CALL FOR PAPERS: 44th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations

June 11-14, 2014
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, USA
Can Collective Wisdom Save Civilization?

Jonathan Lear, in his book Radical Hope (2006), wrote:

We live in an age of deep and profound angst that the world itself, as we know it, is vulnerable and could break down…We are confronted with global warming, nuclear conflagration, weapons of mass destruction…and even the demise of civilization itself…events around the world – terrorist attacks, violent social upheavals…have left us with an uncanny sense of menace. We seem to be aware of a shared vulnerability that we cannot name.”(p. 7)

What is the way out of this deep sense of contemporary crisis? What exactly is “wisdom” and how can wisdom be promoted on a global level to deal with a number of serious crises now facing the future of civilization? What have been some different definitions of wisdom? This is an ancient topic, but how can it be specifically applied today? What, if anything, can be done to solve these problems collectively?

Some applications may be (but are not limited to) the following questions:

§ What exactly is human nature and how is this relevant to civilizational futures?
§ What are some possible solutions to overpopulation and the related problems of over-industrialization, resource-depletion and environmental degradation?
§ What are some possible solutions to the problem of inequality, economic and otherwise?
§ Why do a few have so much while so many have so little? Do rich nations have any responsibilities to the poor ones?
§ Is Capitalism really working today? What did the “occupy” movements signify? Why are many western economies currently floundering? How have technological advances (especially increasing automation) contributed to the current jobs crisis?
§ Does material accumulation really bring happiness? Why/why not?
§ Is humankind naturally prone to conflict or cooperation? How are organizations like the United Nations faring with regard to international responses to regional problems?
§ What is a Utopia? Dystopia? How are these terms relevant today? What roles do utopias and dystopias play for the future of society? Have our leaders run out of inspiration? Is fear now the main rhetoric?
§ In the 20th century, humanity saw the rise of several grand ideologies: Communism, Fascism, Liberalism, etc. We also saw the dismantling of many of the institutions built on these grand visions. Have today’s leaders given up on grand visions? Is narrow self-interest and small scaled-down retraction now the trend? If so, what are the implications of this? Is this ‘realpolitik’ or just the politics of disillusionment?

And of course, papers concerning all questions relevant to civilizational studies are also welcome! These could include:

• Studies of great civilizationalists, e.g., Spengler, Toynbee, Sorokin. Quigley, etc.
• Analyses of particular civilizations and/or comparative studies of civilizations.
• Decline and progress of civilizations.

Please send abstracts via email by April 1, 2014 (@ 300 words) to:
Prof. David J. Rosner
Metropolitan College of New York
ISCSC President and 2014 Program Chair

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Please check out Ashok Malhotra's interview (on Grandpa Chopra's Stories) with Bill Jaker on "Off the Page" (NPR) on April 30, 2013.

Off the Page -


Off the Page. WSKG's bi-weekly interview & call-in program with local authors from Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira and surrounding areas served by WSKG Public ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ISCSC 2013 Conference Program


Wednesday, June 12, 2012
7:00 pm Welcoming Reception

Thursday, June 13, 2012
Breakfast 7:30 AM
Crocker Dining Hall

8:30 AM Madrone Room
Welcome and Introductions

9:00 to 10:15 AM Plenary:  Madrone Room

Andrew Targowski:  Unanticipated Consequences:  The “Black Stain” on Western Civilization: How IBM Machines Helped the Germans to Kill an Additional Four Million People, Including 2.5 Million Jews, in World War II.  The Lesson for Today's Practice of Information Revolution.

NOTE:  All “A” sessions are in the Madrone Room; “B” sessions are in Embers; “C” sessions are in Afterglow.  Consult Conference Map.

Coffee Break 10:15-30 AM

10:30 to 11:45 AM

Session A:  Book Session: Two Major Books, Kaplan and Rosner
Chair:  David Rosner

Laina Farhat-Holzman and George Von der Muhll:  The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate.
Randall Groves and Laina Farhat-Holzman:  Conservatism and Crisis, the Anti-Modern Perspective in Twentieth-Century German Philosophy, by David Rosner.

Session B.  Contemporary Issues of Modernization
Chair: Marek Celinski

Tereza Coni Aguiar,  Local Impacts and Global Concerns: the Environmental Issue in the Ilha Grande Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Liubov Mikhaltsova:  Value-Based and Meaning-Based Orientations Analysis as a Vehicle for Active Convergence of Youth in Modern Civilizations
Maria Stepfenhart reviews Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, by Orlando Figes

Lunch:12:00 to 1:15 PM
Old Board Meeting
1:30 to 3:00 PM

Session A:  Crisis and Evolution of Civilization: Proposal for a Collaborative Book on Comparative
Chair:  David Rosner

Marek J. Celinski:  Crisis and Evolution of Civilization
Laina Farhat-Holzman:  In Defense of “Dead White Men”
David Rosner:  Progress, Decline, and Value Relativism
Mark Malisa: A Comparative Study of 20th and 21st century nonviolence in Nonwestern Civilizations.

Session B: Contemporary Aspects of Modernization
Chair:  Andrew Targowski

Yasuhiro Yoshizaki: Transformation of the Modern Ego in American
Andrew Targowski:  The Second Structural Crisis of Civilization in History.

Coffee Break 3:00 to 3:15 PM

3:30 to 5:00 PM

Session A:  Islam and Modernity
Chair:  Hisanori Kato

Hisanori Kato:  Islamic Fundamentalists’ approach to multiculturalism: the case of Pesanteren Education in Indonesia
Faranak Bavardeh:  Comparative Study of Ibn Khaldun and Oswald Spengler: The Theory of Cycles.

Session B. Islam:  Book Reviews and a Paper
Chair: Tseggai Isaac

Tseggai Isaac: Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam, by William F. McCants.
Abbey Perumpanani: The Arcadian Library: Western Appreciation of Arab and Islamic Civilization, by Alastair Hamilton,
Adan Stevens-Diaz:  Where Civilization Ends and Religious Faith Begins: Conversion Stories of Latino Muslims in the USA

5:00 to 6:00 PM:  Discussion and Presentation by ASILOMAR Park Ranger

DINNER 6:00 to 7:30

Session A.
7:30 to 8:30 PM (Round Tables and Plenaries)

Round Table: What is Civilization? Basic Definitions Discussed.
Moderator:  Michael Andregg

Abbey Perumpanani
David Wilkinson
Andrew Targowski

8:30-9:30  Specialization
Ross Maxwell:  Civilization, Specialization, Interdependence, Cooperation, and Trust.

FRIDAY, June 14, 2012
Breakfast 7 to 8:45 AM

9:00 to 10:15

Session A.  Civilizational Challenges
Chair:  John Grayzel

Tseggai Isaac:  Antidote or a Vehicle for the Normalization of Civilizational Decay.
Andrew Targowski: Lenin and Titley, The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age
John Grayzel:  From Change to Emergence Using Precursors of Religious Change as Indicators of the Emergence of a New Civilization.

Session B:  Asia
Chair:  Connie Lamb

Randall Groves: The Mekong: A Comparative Civilizationist’s Guide to Southeast Asia by way of Charles Higham’s Civilization of Angkor
Juri Abe:  When East Meets West: The Impact of Western Civilizations on Arinori Mori and Ousui Arai at the Dawn of Japan’s Modernization.
Connie Lamb: Peter B. Golden, Central Asia in World History

Coffee Break 10:15

10:30 to 11:45

Session A: Prehistory:  Primeval Origins of Mankind
Chair:  Laina Farhat-Holzman

James DeMeo: Saharasia: The Great Migrations of Desert Warrior Nomads Towards Fertile Lands
Harry Rhodes:  The Technology of Tools and Weapons:  Primeval Beginnings
Earnest B. Hook, A historical examination of the practices of medicine in the study of comparisons among civilizations

Session B: Other Civilizations
Chair:  Tseggai Isaac

Tseggai Isaac: Imperial China 900-1800, by Frederick W. Mote.
George Von der Muhll: Prague in Black and Gold, by Peter Demetz,
John Grayzel: India: Brief History of a Civilization, by Thomas R. Trautmann.

LUNCH 12 to 1:30 PM

1:30 to 2:45 PM

Session A: Strangers in a Strange World
Chair:  Lynn Rhodes

Enrico Beltramini: Double Religious Identity from the Story of a few European Catholic Clergymen in India.
Laina Farhat-Holzman: The Effect of Geography on the Future of Civilizations:  Mega-Cities.
Lynn Rhodes:  Civilizational Effects of Transition from a Pastoral to a Market-Driven Economy: Mongolia

Coffee Break 2:45

3:00 to 4:15
Session A. Books by ISCSC Members
Chair:  Michael Andregg

George Von der Muhll: Ten Inventions that Changed Everything, by Laina Farhat-Holzman
Laina Farhat-Holzman: Saharasia by James DeMeo
Michael Andregg: Intelligence:  A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences, by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2012, Ireland

Crocker Dining Hall, Woodlands South Room

Breakfast 8 to 9:00 AM

Session A
9:30 to 10:00 General Meeting and Election

10:00 to 11:00 New Board Meeting

Checkout and lunch

For those going on wine-tasting outing, meet at flagpole for tour van at 1:00 pm.