William McGaughey is author of the book “Five Epochs of Civilization” (Thistlerose, 2000) upon which this conception of history is based. The book was reviewed in leading newspapers around the world. Although McGaughey took history courses at Yale, he is self-taught with respect to this particular theory. In 2011, he was program chair of the annual conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (ISCSC) which was held at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Using world history to predict the future of religionby William McGaughey
By this definition, civilization
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Civilizations rise and fall according to their nature and stage of maturity. What is a civilization? This book follows the definition introduced in the book “Five Epochs of Civilization” by William McGaughey (Thistlerose Publications, 2000) which is further discussed on the web site http://www.worldhistorysite.com.
By this definition, civilization is a worldwide social/cultural complex that begins with the introduction of a new communication technology. It produces a characteristic institution - for instance, government, or world religion, or commerce and education - during each epoch of world history. The institution then becomes fully developed.
This series of books considers the institutions as they enter an epoch beyond that when they were initially formed. Changes take place in accordance with the themes of the new age.
We are now in the fourth epoch of world history heading into a fifth. How has government, a creation of the first epoch, changed in the second, third, and fourth epochs; and what is its likely fate in the fifth? The same questions can be asked about world religion and about commerce and secular education, products of the second and third epochs respectively. It may be too soon to ask about the entertainment industry, product of the fourth epoch.
This book considers the institution of world religion (not ritual-centered religion). In the long sweep of history, it discusses how the pendulum has swung between voluntary acceptance of a religion and its imposition upon people by the state.
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