Similarities between Arnold Toynbee and Samuel Huntington

This article discusses the similarities of Arnold Toynbee and Samuel Huntington's philosophy.Arnold J. Toynbee was a reknown Historian. He also worked for the The Britain's Foreign Office and in the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in addition to being a Research Professor of International History at the University of London.Samuel P. Huntington is a political scientist, and the man behind the much debated theory of Clash of Civilizations.Toynbee promoted his theory on civilizations in his work A Study of History. In it, he sees only one civilization that will endure (the Western Christian civilization).It is quite unusual to find similarities between two people from two different countries and two different eras. One can't help notice that:

  • Both are academics.
  • Both had important government jobs, or had a listening audience in officials.
  • Both theories spilled over from the realm of academia, to being debated among the public.
  • Both promoted an unconventional and controversial theory on interaction of civilizations.
  • Both emphasized religion over any other aspect in defining civilizations, and how they interact.
  • Both see their civilization as superior and/or enduring over others.

Why are these similarities there? Are they conincidental? Some food for thought.See also: Samuel Huntington's Hispanic Challenge

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