Reaction to Clash of Civilizations Essay


There have been heated argument in the resent past over the extent to which the church and the state integrate. The argument, I feel, is justifiable in all aspects. Indeed there ought to be a clear distinction between the church and the state. Matters of government should utterly be delineated from matters concerning the church. None of the institution should meddle in the other institutions affairs.

Reaction to Clash of Civilizations

            My reaction to this article on Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” is a political abstract that dives into division of nations by ideological differences. The struggle between democracy and communism is Huntington’s main thesis. To begin with Huntington divides the world into eight “major” civilizations; the first is the common culture of China and Chinese communities in Southeast Asia which also includes Vietnam and Korea ((Rafael L p 192)). The second is the Japanese culture as distinctively different from the rest of Asia. The third is Hindu which is identified as the core of the Indian civilization. Next, the Islamic civilization originating from the Arabian Peninsula and expands across the northern part of Africa, central Asia, Arab, Turkic, and Persian. The Orthodox civilization is primarily centered in Russia. The Western civilization consists of the United States of America and Europe. Latin America is Central and South American countries with past authorial cultures (Marianne H S, p 179). And finally the African civilization which, according to Huntington, has an increasing sense of development.

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            Huntington begins section two by arguing that Western power and influence is vanishing. There are many contrasting views on the West’s hold on power. Many scholars argue that the West sill has a monopoly or maybe an edge above on technological research and development, military strength, and economic consumption. Although, in comparison; many Asian countries are steadily increasing their own military and economic stability.  The other side argues that the relative power of Western countries is declining. However the influence of the Western countries is slowly diminishing.

            One of the most interesting views made is the division of civilizations, is the constant reminder of the “War on Terror.” The war between the Islamic nations and the West has risen into higher heights than ever imagined. After the attacks on American soil on 9/11, the Western nations have heightened their security towards Islamic nations.  Huntington goes into a brief historical explanation of the nature of Islam and Christianity, and then he lists five factors that have conflict between the two religions in the late twentieth century.

            My reaction to which the article states is completely accurate, although they all are good points, few seem to be over analyzed (Marianne H S p 182). The first point stated is that the Muslim population growth has generated large numbers of unemployed and dissatisfied youth that become recruits to Islamic causes. The second is Islamic nations views the West’s attempt to universalize values and institutions, maintain military superiority, which has generated intense resentment within Muslim communities. These are the two main reasons to which the War on Terror is about today.

            In the “Clash of Ignorance” by Said, he gives a very personal response to Huntington’s “Clash of Civilization.” According to the hypothesis of Said’s article, he believes that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic.

            Huntington believes that the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural and not based upon political beliefs. Said argues that “Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations.”

            Said response to Huntington’s book is an excellent comparison of two scholars over analyzing International matters. My personal reaction is that there is a huge difference between Church and State. On one hand one article divides the world geographically, only to contradict with dividing the world according to their religion (Rafael L p 192). Throughout history religion has played an intricate role in almost every separation or war between any two nations or religions. Although both authors raise great points of views on the matters of that particular time, they haven’t separated the real issue between Church and State, and until then it’s just a mass level of International speculation and confusion. My reaction to support both authors is that both have given a small snap shot of the future in their works developed in the early nineties.


Rafael L., Politics and church in Venezuela: perspectives and horizons. Theological studies, Mar

2009, Vol. 70 Issue 1, p192-195

Marianne H S., catholic ethical interventions in political debate: a situation in Germany,

Theological Studies, Mar2009, Vol. 70 Issue 1, p177-181


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