Publication Date

Spring 2011

School

Helms School of Government

Major

Government: International Studies

Primary Subject Area

Political Science, General

Keywords

Liberty, Freedom, Western civilization, Judeo-Christian heritage, Christianity, Spiritual Crisis, Pitirim Sorokin, Sensate culture, Self-government, Private property, Limited government, Representative government

Disciplines

Political History | Political Theory | Politics and Social Change

Abstract

This study seeks to support the centrality of the Judeo-Christian heritage to the growth and sustenance of liberty, a form of individualism limited by moral values. The pillars of liberty—self-government, private property, representative government, and limited government—reflect the structural contributions made by the Judeo-Christian heritage. Unfortunately, much of Western civilization suffers from a spiritual crisis, which has introduced and exacerbated fractures in the pillars. Pitirim Sorokin’s social and cultural analysis of Western civilization provides a framework to better understand the fractures evident in the history of liberty in Europe and America, and developed in each pillar of liberty—fractures that reaffirm liberty’s dependency upon the Judeo-Christian heritage.