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EAST AND WEST, WHERE IS THE
If the division
of East and West is by technological advance, then Japan belongs to the West and as
various Asian countries develop economically then we would have to say that they have
joined the Western world, even if they may have preserved their older Eastern religious
practices. Similarly Mexico and other Latin American countries as well as Eastern Europe
by their poverty would have to be Eastern. If economic affluence makes the division
between East and West then in medieval times when China and India were affluent and Europe
was poor, was Europe then of the East and Asia of the West?
The Chinese were originally suspicious of Buddhism because coming
from India to the West, it was considered to be a Western religion. In embracing Buddhism
did they become Westerners? The Romans regarded Christianity as an Eastern religion and
were similarly suspicious of it. Did Christianity turn them into Easterners?