Engagement in the cross- currents of history
Perspectives on civilisation in Latin America
in Debating civilisations

This chapter explores Latin American experiences that shed light on the engagement of civilisations. Cultural and political engagement began in earnest for independent Latin American societies in the 1880s. Latin America's modernism mostly pre-dated the Second World War. After the Second World War, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes joined Jorge Borges in renewing modernist themes in Latin American literature, essays and poetry. The thread of Romanticism runs through Latin American modernism as a whole. Writers and philosophers strived for a place in Universal History for Latin America on grounds that are typically Romantic. Liberation theology found a collective voice in Latin America, even though liberation theologians were never more than a minority at the episcopal level. Apart from providing cultural and political expression of the suffering of the lived present, liberationists have borne witness to class and civilisational memories.

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Debating civilisations

Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

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