Blurred Images of Cultural Tradition and Modernity over Distance and Time
Editor: Wil Arts
In today's European arts and sciences most of the time we see not only other, but also our own cultural traditions and the different forms of modernity like a dim image in a mirror. And the future of our own and other cultures seems to be shrouded in mystery, because our gift of knowledge and inspired messages are only partial. The question this book addresses is whether it is possible to get an almost face-to-face intimacy with various forms of cultural tradition and modernity by using our experiences and our powers of imagination, i.e. our expectations, in a more fruitful way.
The contributors to this book try to give answers to this weighty question by taking as a guideline Erasmus's famous motto ad fontes, i.e. always go to the sources. Without, however, nursing the illusion that our partial knowledge will ever be complete. Is there, they ask, a real chasm between the 'modern' West and the 'traditional' East, as so many authors have argued? And if so, how deep is the chasm and how is it to be bridged? How much do people in the West know about their own cultural tradition and the modern times they live in? How much do they know of the traditions and the modernities of the East and how much do they need to know in order to cope with what the future will probably bring? Are our images of cultural tradition and modernity in East and West, in Past and Present so blurred that we look at them as through a glass, darkly? What the contributors to this book argue for is the necessity of looking at developments both in East and West, both in Past and Present from a wider perspective, of taking a global point of departure. They argue for greater understanding and communication between cultures, for cultural pluralism (as distinct from cultural relativism). They argue for the open, tolerant, non-dogmatic and critical thought that was the most important characteristic of Erasmus's philosophy.
The chapters in this book can be useful to a broad audience and a range of social scientists and historians who are interested in the understanding of the relation between Past and Present, Tradition and Modernity, East and West.
In: Mapping Value Orientations in Central and Eastern Europe
Editors: Wil Arts and Loek Halman
People's fundamental values can be conceived of as conceptions of what is desirable. They influence their selection from available modes, means and ends of action. Because of the societal importance of values they deserve scholarly attention. This volume inquires into the values present-day Europeans cherish by empirically analyzing the data of 2008/2010 wave of the European Values Study and explaining the consensus and contrasts in value orientations found. The contributors to this volume try to capture the diversities and similarities in value orientations between contemporary European countries in a range of life-spheres by unravelling context and composition effects. They are in search of evidence that either country level factors such as institutional arrangements or the composition of the populations of countries in terms of gender, age, socio-economic status, religion etcetera have the greatest impact. By doing so they paint the moral landscapes of Europe today.
Editors: Wil Arts and Loek Halman
The comparative method is at the core of sociological inquiry and gained new importance, emphasis and practitioners particularly after the second world war as a consequence of a large variety of international and global scale developments.
The contributions to this book regard nations or countries as contextual units of analysis and treat them as variables. Theoretical explanations are presented of how social phenomena are systematically related to characteristics of the nation states and these explanations are tested empirically using the qualitative tools of mainstream sociology.
The chapters in this book can be useful to a broad audience and a range of social scientists who are interested in the understanding of contemporary social phenomena that are no longer limited to national borders but that are transnational or of a global order.

Contributors are Toril Aalberg, Wil Arts, Carole B. Burgoyne, Loek Halman, Piet Hermkens, Guillermina Jasso, Mebs Kanji, James R. Kluegel, Ola Listhaug, David S. Mason, Petr Matěju, Neil Nevitte, Thorleif Pettersson, David A. Routh, Svetlana Sidorenko-Stephenson, Johan Verweij, Bernd Wegener, and Peter Van Wijck.
Editors: Wil Arts and Loek Halman
This volume deals with Europe’s diversity and homogeneity at the turn of the millennium in terms of fundamental value orientations. Using data from the 1999/2000 wave of the European Values Study the contributors to this book try to identify and offer explanations and understandings of the patterns in the basic values and attitudes that have been ascertained in specific life-spheres, e.g., work and leisure time, religion, morality, society and politics, family and marriage. The result is a cultural map of Europe that captures the diversities and similarities in value profiles of the Europeans.
In: Value Contrasts and Consensus in Present-Day Europe
In: Value Contrasts and Consensus in Present-Day Europe
In: Value Contrasts and Consensus in Present-Day Europe
In: Value Contrasts and Consensus in Present-Day Europe