"Traditional societies think that the West forgets ancestors, derogates religion, exalts triviality (sports, entertainment, fashion), endorses sexual shamelessness, deprecates the family, and discards honor. Pearse offers the best, most intelligent brief argument that the West needs to reform,"---Booklist. 192 pages, softcover. InterVarsity.
"Why do they hate us so much?" Many in the U.S. are baffled at the hatred and anti-Western sentiment they see on the international news. Why are people around the world so resentful of Western cultural values and ideals? Historian Meic Pearse unpacks the deep divides between the West and the rest of the world. He shows how many of the underlying assumptions of Western civilization directly oppose and contradict the cultural and religious values of significant people groups. Those in the Third World, Pearse says, "have the sensation that everything they hold dear and sacred is being rolled over by an economic and cultural juggernaut that doesn't even know it's doing it . . . and wouldn't understand why what it's destroying is important or of value." Pearse's keen analysis offers insight into perspectives not often understood in the West, and provides a starting point for intercultural dialogue and rapprochement.
Meic Pearse, originally from Britain, now lives in Croatia and the United States, where he is professor of history at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. He studied history and English at Swansea, University of Wales, and management studies at the Polytechnic of Wales. He took his M.Phil. and D.Phil. in ecclesiastical history at Oxford University. For more than a decade, he was involved as part of a team establishing a new church in Swansea. He has also made pipe valves in a German factory, served as a tax collector in local government, taught business studies at a Jewish school, taught history and economics in a Quaker institution, and lectured in church history in Britain and the Balkans. Books he has written include and He has articles published in and other periodicals.
"Pearse succeeds in providing an easy to understand, clearly defined introduction to sources of conflict between the Western and non-Western worlds."
"Immensely rich insight, written nicely by a learned and penetrating thinker. This may be the best Christian reflection on the deeper questions around globalization, global culture wars and the great clash of civilizations I've yet seen. . . . If you've only got time for one book of this sort, pass by Chomsky and Perle. Skip narrow-minded ideologues like Michael Moore and Ann Coulter and read Meic Pearse. He is a thoughtful Christian who brings theological acumen and global sensitivities to his critique of modernity, and offers profound Christian insight as he unpacks the deep divides between the West and the rest."
"Those who wish to place some of the cultural crisis in the West in larger cultural and historical context will find much food for thought, and the book is useful for stimulating discussion. Whether one agrees with Pearse's analysis of Western culture, his assertion that non-Western values will increasingly demand serious attention in the West can hardly be disputed."
"This is . . . possibly the best, most intelligent, most humane brief argument that the West, rather than the Rest, needs reform."
"Meic Pearse has exposed our therapy culture in its failure to move us from self-absorption to the freedom of self-esteem found when we truly serve others. . . . This book is necessary reading for all who would be responsible leaders and informed Christians in the twenty-first century."
"I know of no more urgent discussion in our day. . . . Could someone please get a copy to George W. Bush?"
"This is a passionate, unfashionable and important book, recommended reading for anybody who has begun to suspect that the Western economic and cultural project is unsustainable."
"This book is a serious and stirring call to Christians to reaffirm the central position of their faith. In an age which mistakes nescience for open-mindedness and enforced nihilism for toleration, this call to know, to affirm and to witness deserves a wide audience."
"Meic Pearse specializes in asking difficult questions about the most significant issues facing us today--about religions, about politics, and about how cultures and societies come into conflict. . . . This is a challenging, provocative book, with a broad social and historical vision."
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