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Cultural Crystallizations And World History: the Age Of Ecumenical Renaissances

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In the following I shall propose a way of conceptualising the nature of major societal transformations in the tenth to thirteenth centuries. Historians now largely agree that this is a period of deep-seated change with long-term consequences, a profound cultural crystallization, which affected vast regions of the Old World. At the same time, historians and historically orientated social scientists have hardly begun to articulate a conceptual framework that would open this period for comparative interpretations. It is in this period of still relatively small but growing global interactions that the trajectories of different civilizations become clearly discernible and solidify into institutional premises that come to characterize the histories of societies in the Old World for most of the rest of the second millennium CE. These processes, however, invariably involved a reinterpretation and rearticulation of a real or imagined cosmological and cultural heritage and tradition. It is in this sense that it is possible to speak of an age when there is a renaissance of trans-regional cultural ecumenes. It is for this reason that it is also necessary to indicate the contours of some of the major cosmological and civilizational legacies of relevance to these processes of ecumenical renaissance.


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