Western world

countries that identify themselves with an originally European

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident (from the Latin word occidens, "sunset, West"), in contrast to the Orient (from the Latin word oriens, "rise, East"), or Eastern world. It might mean the Northern half of the North–South divide. Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome are generally considered to be the birthplaces of Western civilization—Greece having heavily influenced Rome—the former due to its impact on philosophy, democracy, science, aesthetics, as well as building designs and proportions and architecture; the latter due to its influence on art, law, warfare, governance, republicanism, engineering and religion. Western civilization is also strongly associated with Christianity, which is in turn shaped by Hellenistic philosophy, Judaism and Roman culture. In the modern era, Western culture has been heavily influenced by the Renaissance, the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment and the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions. Through extensive imperialism, colonialism and Christianization by Western powers in the 15th to 20th centuries, and later exportation of mass culture, much of the rest of the world has been extensively influenced by Western culture, in a phenomenon often called Westernization. The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in the theological, methodological and emphatical division between the Western Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. West was originally literal, opposing Catholic Europe with the cultures and civilizations of Orthodox Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, which early-modern Europeans saw as the East. By the mid-20th century, Western culture was exported worldwide through the emergent mass media: film, radio, television and recorded music; and the development and growth of international transport and telecommunication (such as transatlantic cable and the radiotelephone) played a decisive role in modern globalization. In modern usage, Western world sometimes refers to Europe and to areas whose populations have had a large European ethnical presence since the 15th century Age of Discovery.
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main subject: Western world


The Western Heritage

book by Donald Kagan

author: Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment


2383. Der gespaltene Westen

author: Jürgen Habermas


The Two Cultures

Rede lecture held in 1959 by Charles Percy Snow (published as an essay in the same year), theorizing a splitting between two cultures (humanistic and scientific) in Western education patterns, as a major hindrance to solving the world's problems

author: C. P. Snow

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