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Western civilisation

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 8 August 2015

The following letter was submitted for possible publication in The Australian of Monday 13 July but, alas, it did not make it into print.

Western civilisation and peace

Kevin Donnelly writes, in part, that western civilisation offers a foundation that ensures peace ("Academic centres turn on the West", July 11-12).

Given that we are part way through a four-year, centenary commemoration of the First World War, I can only assume that Donnelly's choice of the verb "ensures" was sloppy or his understanding of European history is selective in the extreme.

The main part of that conflict was between countries at the heart of western civilisation that all maintained that the same Christian god was on their side.

Western civilisation has given the world much that is good. But rather than extravagantly claiming that it ensures peace, it would be more accurate to say that, across the span of history, war has been a continuing and prominent feature of that civilisation.

Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
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