The history of Western civilization is a grand but tragic drama. The west has brought about the instruments of reason that make possible a rational comprehension of physical nature and human culture. It has formed the concept of political liberty and recognized the inherent worth of the individual. With this civilization, maintaining law and order has always been a struggle. The criminal element has long since been a part of all levels and forms of society. Over the centuries, law has transcended from a brutal, military establishment, to an accepted and necessary means to maintain order in society. It has been influenced by many factors, including religion and politics. The cultural variances of law and legal institution are vast and always changing. This paper will focus on several of these cultures.
Before analyzing the cultural variances and changes of law and legal institutions, there must be an understanding of the meanings of civilization and humanism. Civilization, as defined by historians,first emerged between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago. Humanism has a number of meanings, and because there are so many different meanings it can be quite confusing if you don't know what kind of humanism someone is talking about.
Literary Humanism is a devotion to the humanities or literary culture.
Renaissance Humanism is the spirit of learning that developed at the end of the middle
ages with the revival of classical letters and a renewed confidence in the ability of human
beings to determine for themselves truth and falsehood.
Cultural Humanism is the rational and empirical tradition that originated largely in
ancient Greece and Rome, evolved through out European history, and now constitutes a
basic part of the Western approach to science, political theory, ethics, and law.
Philosophical Humanism is any outlook or way of life centered on human need and
Christian Humanism is defined by Webster's T…

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