Western Culture

Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Western lifestyle or European civilization, is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies. The term has come to apply to countries whose history is strongly marked by European immigration, such as the countries of The Americas, and the countries of Australasia, and is not restricted to the continent of Europe.

Western culture is characterised by a host of artistic, philosophic, literary, and legal themes and traditions; the heritage of Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Jewish, and Latin ethnic and linguistic groups, and Christianity, which played an important part in the shaping of Western civilization since at least the 4th century. Also contributing to Western thought, in ancient times and then in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance onwards, a tradition of rationalism in various spheres of life, developed by Hellenistic philosophy, Scholasticism, humanism, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. Values of Western culture have, throughout history, been derived from: political thought, widespread employment of rational argument favouring freethought; assimilation of human rights; the need for equality; and democracy.

Historical records of Western culture in Europe begin with Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Western culture continued to develop with Christianization during the Middle Ages, with the reform and modernization triggered by the Renaissance, and with globalization by successive European empires, that spread European ways of life and European educational methods around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries. European culture developed with a complex range of philosophy, medieval scholasticism and mysticism, and Christian and secular humanism. Rational thinking developed through a long age of change and formation, with the experiments of the Enlightenment, and breakthroughs in the sciences. With its global connection, European culture grew with an all-inclusive urge to adopt, adapt, and ultimately influence other cultural trends around the world.

Tendencies that have come to define modern Western societies include the existence of political pluralism, prominent subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements), and increasing cultural syncretism - resulting from globalization and human migration.

Read more about Western CultureTerminology, History, Cultural Forms, Religion, Sport, Scientific and Technological Inventions and Discoveries, Themes and Traditions, Widespread Influence, Maps

Other articles related to "culture, western culture, western":

Sohrab Sepehri - The Lover Is Always Alone
... in Iran that had looked at West and its culture with open eyes and awareness (5)” ... Some poets had rarely traveled outside of Iran and had little idea of the western culture ... On the other hand they were some others who converted to the Western culture and changed their entire credos, life style and style of poetry ...
Xianbei - Origins
... The Upper Xiajiadian culture is sometimes associated with the Donghu ... Xianbei, were also heirs of the horse-riding nomadic way of life first seen in the Afanasevo culture (3500-2500 BC) in Mongolia ... The Hou Hanshu says that “the language and culture of the Xianbei are the same as the Wuhuan” ...
Susan Bordo - Writing - Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and The Body (1993)
... a collection of essays that focus on the body’s situatedness and construction in Western Society and offers “a cultural approach to the body” ... Bordo looks at “obsessive body practices of contemporary culture” and claims that her aim “is not to portray these obsessions as bizarre or anomalous, but, rather, as the logical (if extreme) manifestations ... Unbearable Weight also traces the connection between culture and female disorders and Bordo emphasizes the fact that disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia cannot simply be ...
Christian-ism - Major Denominations Within Christianity - Western Culture
... Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture ... Though Western culture contained several polytheistic religions during its early years under the Greek and Roman empires, as the centralized Roman power waned, the dominance of the Catholic Church was ... Until the Age of Enlightenment, Christian culture was the predominant force in western civilization, guiding the course of philosophy, art, and science ...

Famous quotes related to western culture:

    Cinema is the culmination of the obsessive, mechanistic male drive in western culture. The movie projector is an Apollonian straightshooter, demonstrating the link between aggression and art. Every pictorial framing is a ritual limitation, a barred precinct.
    Camille Paglia (b. 1947)