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This comes in several flavors.  Catholicism is the foundation, of course, drawing on both Aristotle (foremost) and Plato (secondly).  I will skip over Protestantism (even though I shouldn't, as it laid the basis for both individualism and Capitalism).  

In all forms of Christianity the material is a real (though denigrated) category.  The spiritual is thought to exist and is exhalted, but is separated from the material.  

The Modern West arises co-incidentally with modern science, which investigates public knowledge--that is, that which is publicly verifiable through demonstration or experiment.  This leaves out dreams and visions (the most important part of reality in many cultures), but at this point it does not pass judgment on them.  

By the 19th century certain ancient notions that had been adopted by Christianity as unalterable dogma were shown by science to be false in fact, leading to a war between Christian religion and science.  One consequence of the war was that science moved from non-study of the non-material, to active denial of the non-material.  Science adopted a wholly materialistic point of view.  

Several non-Western cultures blur the material-spiritual distinction.  The interest is not in how to separate them, but in how they relate--how they inform each other.  

If you were really non-materialist you would not be Western in mind.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:30:43 AM EST
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