Hebraism, Hellenism, and Holism

Finding Sources of Life in Western Culture

Authored by: Bruce Novak

International Handbook of Holistic Education

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138082649
eBook ISBN: 9781315112398
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315112398-41

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Abstract

[abstract: When Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization, he replied, “What a fabulous idea! Let’s try it!” Let’s do. This essay explores the strong holistic elements of the two major strands of Western culture. I show how the philosophy of “mind over matter” empiricism that has overtaken the globe in recent centuries can be encompassed by an empathic empiricism that can pervade the world with care for life. And I share the story of my coming to embrace a thoroughly empathic and experiential form of Judaism: to exemplify how the sifting-through of Western culture—rather than its simple rejection—is a holistic way of healing the personal and social damages it has caused; and to begin to show how we can turn the clash of civilizations now engulfing a newly globalized world into a cosmically cosmopolitan dance with all life. ]

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