Comparing Modernities

Pluralism Versus Homogenity. Essays in Homage to Shmuel N. Eisenstadt


The authors of this volume explore the tensions and dilemmas that impact pluralism and homogeneity in modern societies. This is the first work in this field in which the frame of discussion is a comparative civilizational analysis. It focuses on issues that are at the heart of the contemporary human experience and culture. The contributors to this book, renowned scholars from all over the world, tackle these issues by referring to different temporal and spatial settings. This book is in homage to Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt. We honor his ground-breaking work in the comparative study of modernities and civilizations.

Contributors are: Jeffrey C. Alexander, Erik Allardt , Saïd Arjomand, Johann P. Arnason, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Raymond Boudon, Michael Confino, Ralf Dahrendorf, Gerard Delanty, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, Han Entzinger, Bernhard Giesen, Rolland Goetschell, Ulf Hannerz, Danièle Hervieu-Léger, Jürgen Kocka, Donald N. Levine, Menachem Magidor, Alberto Martinelli, T.K. Oommen, Shalini Randeria, Luis Roniger, W.G. Runciman, Dominique Schnapper, Hayim Tadmor, Stanley J. Tambiah, Wolfgang Schluchter, David Shulman, Sammy Smooha, Piotr Stzompka, Edward A. Tiryakan, Alain Touraine, Zvi Werblowsky, and Björn Wittrock.

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Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Ph.D. (1974) in Sociology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is Weinberg Professor of Political Sociology at Tel Aviv University. His recent works include Jewish identities: Fifty intellectuals answer Ben-Gurion (Brill, 2002), and Is Israel One? Religion, Nationalism and Multiculturalism Confounded (Brill, 2005). His edited works include Identity, Culture and Globalization (Brill, 2001).
Yitzhak Sternberg, is a Researcher in Sociology at Tel Aviv University. His current research interest is Nativism in immigrant societies from a comparative perspective. He has co-edited Identity, Culture and Globalization (Brill, 2001).

In homage to Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, Menachem Magidor, Hayim Tadmor, Piotr Stzompka, Elizier Ben-Rafael and Shalini Randeria

I: The Historical Trajectory of Modernity

1. Modernity in socio-historical perspective, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt
2. The Axial Conundrum: Between historical sociology and the philosophy of history, Johann P. Arnason
3. Cultural crystallization and civilization change: Axiality and modernity,
4. The exception that proves the rule? Rome in the Axial Age, W.G. Runciman
5. Civil Society: Some remarks on the career of a concept, Jürgen Kocka
6. Challenges of modernity in an age of globalization, T.K. Oommen
7. The dark side of modernity: Tension relief, splitting, and Grace, Jeffrey C. Alexander

II: Modernity and Pluralism

8. Pluralities and pluralisms, Zvi Werblowsky
9. Multiculturalism revisited, Han Entzinger
10. Ethnic revival and religious revival in “Providential decomcracies”, Dominique Schnapper
11. Doubts about pluralism, Ralf Dahrendorf
12. The end of the “social”, Alain Touraine
13. Collective identity and the representation of liminality, Bernhard Giesen

III: Religion, Nationalism and Pluralism

14. Weber’s sociology of religion and Ancient Judaism, Wolfgang Schluchter
15. Comparative analysis of the civilization of modernity: 1203 and 2003, Edward A. Tiryakan
16. Political culture in the Islamicate civilization, Saïd Arjomand
17. Multiple religious modernities: A new approach to contemporary religiosity, Danièle Hervieu-Léger
18. Religion and power in the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Michael Confino
19. From religion to nationalism: The transformation of the Jewish identity, Eliezer Ben-Rafael

IV: Modernity as World Reality

20. Who invented modernity in South India, and is it modern?, David Shulman
21. Is Israel Western?, Sammy Smooha
22. Cultural translations and European modernity, Gerard Delanty
23. Center-periphery, creolization and cosmopolitanism, Ulf Hannerz
24. Europe’s multiple modernity, Erik Allardt
25. Civilizational resources for dialogic engagement?, Donald N. Levine

V: Challenges of Collective Identities
26. French and German Judaism facing modernity, Rolland Goetschell
27. From East Europeans to Europeans, Piotr Sztompka
28. Is Hindu-Muslim cleavage the paradigmatic case for conflicts in South Asia?, Stanley J. Tambiah
29. Democracy in Latin America: The ‘only game in town’?, Luis Roniger
30. The European identity, Alberto Martinelli

VI. Epilogue: Modernity as Program

31. Basic mechanisms of moral evolution: in Durkheim’s and Weber’s footsteps, Raymond Boudon
32. Collective identity and the constructive and destructive forces of modernity, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt

The trail of a scholar
A scholarly portrait, Donald N. Levine

Index of Persons
Index of Subjects
All those interested in contemporary societies, modernity, civilizational analysis, social stratification and social conflicts, ethnic and racial studies, collective identities, religion and society, social change, civil society. Disciplinary areas of interest: Sociology, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Cultural Studies.
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