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Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought
Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought
Author Mark Culler
Original title Analysis and Synthesis of Western Anglo-Saxon Protestant Culture and Oriental Confucianism and Society: Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought
Country Kingdom of Sierra
Language English
Subject Christianity and Confucianism, Cross-cultural analysis,
Western society, Orientalism, cultural anthropology
Genre Sociology · Philosophy · History
Published February 2, 1904
Publisher Crystal Press
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 321 (original)
871 (17th Edition)
Awards Worldwide Initiative Prize (1908)
Sierran Heritage Award (1932)
Writers' Guild Award (1945)
St. Mary's Literary Award (1945)
Sierran Author and Librarian Association's Platinum Award for Non-Fiction (1998)

Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought is a book written by Sierran sociologist Mark Culler and published in 1904 which has been identified as the most influential book in Sierra, and one of the most important sociological books in the 20th century. Focusing on and exploring the similarities, strengths and weakness, and history of both Western and East Asian culture, the book is directly responsible for the Sierran Cultural Revolution. Subsequent versions contained Culler's revisions, who adapted his work to build upon and respond to other sociological works, most prominently that of German sociologist Max Weber.

In the book, Culler proposed that both Protestantism and Confucianism were powerful, influencing forces in their respective domains which led to economic and political stability. Although Culler noted various differences between the two "religions" (e.g., differences in organization), both were deeply entrenched in society, and had the shared similarities in the notion of self-control and restraint, and on relationships. Culler recognized that while Confucianism placed a greater emphasis on hierarchy, based on social status, modern capitalism in the West had formed its own hierarchy based on wealth and class, and developed the idea of an "international synthesis" which would incorporate ideas from Confucianism such as reciprocal relationships built on fealty and Western culture such as individual self-improvement. Culler believed that the international synthesis (essentially a compromise between the two systems), if applied correctly, would lead to a society that was both efficient and prosperous, while also stable and harmonious, where individuals would seek the rational pursuit of economic gain, whilst maintaining a sense of duty and affinity with others by altruism . The international synthesis in other words, would create a form of "compassionate capitalism", and promote peaceful order to ensure the continual development and success of a nation.

Contrary to popular belief, Culler himself did not necessarily promote or advocate his findings to be followed as a model. Although he was supportive of the changes in the Revolution, many important concepts which were advanced in the New Culture, including the Sixteen Maxims and Five Rules, have been misattributed to Culler's work and writings. In addition, Culler rejected accusations that his work suggested that other cultures including those from Catholic nations were inferior. In newer editions, he included further comparative studies of other cultures not covered in the Protestant–Confucian synthesis, and noted their merits and flaws. In contemporary times, the synthesis has sometimes been inclusively called the "Christian-Confucian synthesis" or the "Judeo-Christian-Confucian synthesis" to reflect upon these additional findings.

The book catalyzed and promoted radically new views on race and culture in the early 20th century, and its effect and influence was significantly pronounced in Sierra where the book was immensely popular. By the 1950s, much of Culler's studies and suggestions left a lasting impression and legacy on Sierrans, giving rise to modern Sierran culture. Over the span of 20 years, Culler continued to produce new revised editions, adding a total of 550 new pages on his observations and findings on the effect of his works in Sierra and abroad. For his work, author Culler received the Nobel Prize in 1924 for "outstanding achievement in bridging the divide between two worlds for the greater good and world peace".

The book is required reading in all public schools and educational facilities in the Kingdom (including the territories) and is usually taught in the senior year of high school in the Sierran government and politics or civics class. It also frequently included in public and private universities, and community colleges in English composition and Sierran history and political science classes. In 1999, Newstar declared Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought as the "best and single most influential book written during Sierran history", out of the 50 nonfiction and fiction books listed. The International Sociological Association listed the work in the same year as the "third most important sociological book in the 20th century".

Context

Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought (2017)

Cover of a recent contemporary edition

Publication

Overview

Contents and format

Reception

Criticism

Impact, influence, and legacy

See also

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