THE CONCEPT OF CIVILIZATIONAL BOUNDARY
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In this paper the concept of the boundary of civilizations is discussed on the example of Polish-Belarusian and Polish-Ukrainian borderlands. The author starts from the assumption, shared by many historians and sociologists, that civilizations are real cultural entities based on certain long-lasting patterns of symbolical order. Those patterns are closely related to respective religions like Catholicism and Orthodoxy, but they act even though people's religiosity is weak. The differences between Western Christian and Eastern Christian patterns remain important in a secularized world as well. The author analyses how these civilization differences influence both cross national and political identities in countries, situated on the boundary of civilizations. He shows, in particular, how symbolic patterns shape the identity of Catholic minority in modern Belarus and that of Orthodox minority in today's Poland.
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