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Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought

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Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought
Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought.png
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 one of the most iconic works written during the Sierran Cultural Revolution. Culler's analysis and conclusions had a major impact on the development of Sierran humanism. 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. Sierran humanism, the guiding philosophy in modern Sierra, is based on this synthesis.

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".


Cover of a recent contemporary edition
  • Foreword
  • Author's Notes
  • Volume One: Christianity and Western Civilization
    • Chapter One: Overview of Christianity
    • Chapter Two: Development of Early Christianity
    • Chapter Three: Christianity in the Middle Ages
    • Chapter Four: The Protestant Reformation
    • Chapter Five: Modern Christian Society
    • Chapter Six: Capitalism and Christianity
    • Chapter Seven: Limitations of Christian Culture
    • Chapter Eight: Christianity Applied
  • Volume Two: Confucianism, Taoism, and Eastern Civilization
    • Chapter One: History of Ancient China
    • Chapter Two: Overview of Confucianism
    • Chapter Three: Confucian Society
    • Chapter Four: Overview of Taoism
    • Chapter Five: Taoist Society
    • Chapter Six: Legalism and Other Philosophies
    • Chapter Seven: Buddhism, Shintoism, and Folk Religions
    • Chapter Eight: Neo-Confucianism
    • Chapter Nine: Order, Harmony and Stability
    • Chapter Ten: Limitations of Confucianism and Other Philosophies
    • Chapter Eleven: Confucianism Applied
  • Volume Three: Comparison of Western and Eastern Civilization
    • Chapter One: Western Europe and China
    • Chapter Two: Western Europe and Japan
    • Chapter Three: Christianity and Confucianism - Differences Pt. 1
    • Chapter Four: Christianity and Confucianism - Differences Pt. 2
    • Chapter Five: Christianity and Confucianism - Similarities Pt. 1
    • Chapter Six: Christianity and Confucianism - Similarities Pt. 2
    • Chapter Seven: Orientals in Western Society
    • Chapter Eight: Europeans in Eastern Society
    • Chapter Nine: Other Asian Civilizations
  • Volume Four: Harmonizing Western and Eastern Thought
    • Chapter One: Ideal Society
    • Chapter Two: Honor and Dignity
    • Chapter Three: Self-Discipline
    • Chapter Four: Work Ethic
    • Chapter Five: Faith
    • Chapter Six: Continuous Progression - Pt. 1
    • Chapter Seven: Continuous Progression - Pt. 2
    • Chapter Eight: Harmonious Society
    • Chapter Nine: Tolerance and Mutual Understanding
    • Chapter Ten: Capitalism - Pt. 1
    • Chapter Eleven: Capitalism - Pt. 2
    • Chapter Twelve: Compassionate Capitalism
    • Chapter Thirteen: The Protestant-Confucian Synthesis
    • Chapter Forteen: Achieving Ideal Society
    • Chapter Fifteen: The Synthesis Actualized
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
    • Chapter One: The Revolution
    • Chapter Two: Sierra and the Cultural Experiment
    • Chapter Three: Applicable Synthesis
    • Chapter Four: Reflections on Recent Events
    • Chapter Five: Hope for the Future
    • Chapter Six: Final Thoughts
  • Index



Contents and format



Impact, influence, and legacy

See also