World Civilizations - An Indic View Origins | Paradigms | Comparisons
India is unique, but how is its uniqueness defined in relation to other civilizations? This course will contrast the various civilizations of past and present and bring out the Indian position.
‘Civilization,’ like ‘consciousness’ is a word that needs no sharp definition in general usage- it is evident by its own existence. But what did S. Huntington mean, when he warned of a ‘clash of civilizations?’ What exactly did Toynbee refer to, when he listed more than 20 major civilizations? Why did Spengler think of a civilization as something resembling an organism? And perhaps most important of all- what specifically do WE mean, when we assert Bhārata as a ‘civilization state?’ As consciousness is to the individual, civilization is to the collective. And as memory is to consciousness, history is to civilization. This course examines the origins, leading paradigms, lacunae and internal disagreements on the matter of defining and comparing civilizations; and places this not as a body observing us- but as a subject that we turn our gaze to. There is a reason why civilizational thinkers, when speaking of the long continuity that civilization can possess, like pointing to the India of Gandhi and that of Ashoka being the ‘same civilization.’ And there are reasons why the same group of scholars tend to identify ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Buddhism’ as different civilizations. This course is where we unpack all this and more. This is World Civilizations - An Indic View