Montag, 22. April 2013

Georgia and Western Civilization; Myths and reality.


The article is an attempt of comparative analyzes of basic aspects of European civilization with the peculiarities of historical development of Georgia. The starting point is a well-known thesis of Samuel Huntington that estranges nations of orthodox faith as the so-called “Eurasian Civilization”. According to Huntington, some features like the absence of cultural impact of Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment make this culture alien to the West. However, as his general opinions are not disputed, we assume that the thesis in whole is rather generalized and does not take into consideration some special cases. 

From our point of view, Georgia is exactly one of such cases.

From our pint of view, in spite of the absence of the impact of European Reformation, Georgia, historically is still exception from the so-called “Eurasian Civilization” and essentially is more close to the West, than any other orthodox states of the East.

We point at four conventional attributes of “Europeism” – that is, Antique philosophy, Christian Faith, Feudalism, and the Roman law.

The article focuses on the essence of European feudalism and attitude of the Roman law towards private property.  Analyzes of feudal structures in Georgia (existence of feudal tenure and allodial systems), as well as presence of Roman law for property and impact of antique philosophy on Georgian theology, makes medieval Georgia part of European civilization. 

Historical peculiarities made the processes of development of Humanism and Enlightenment in Georgia not always chronologically adequate and similar with the same processes in Europe, though the process of European Enlightenment of the XIX century still found some reflection in Georgia.

Under the Russia’s domination, the Georgian Church, in fact, became just a branch of the Russian one - dogmatic, self-isolated and totalitarian in its nature. In such circumstances, there could not have been any talk of the impact of the Reformation.

In Russian Empire, even the feudal aristocracy couldn’t stand the attitude of the Roman law to property as to the absolute and sacred category. The widespread understanding of the property form the standpoint of the Old Testament, perceived land as the property of God and a man was just its a temporary owner.

Thus, the main goal in context of Georgia’s comeback into the realm of the European civilization is to overcome the Homo Soveticus syndrome and to re-establish traditional Georgian attitudes towards property in the light of antique Roman law.  

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