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The Western world, also known as The West and the Occident (from Latin: occidens "sunset, West"; as contrasted with the Orient), is a term referring to different nations depending on the context. There are many accepted definitions about what they all have in common.<ref name="Western Civilization">Western Civilization, Our Tradition; James Kurth; accessed 30 August 2011</ref>

The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in Greco-Roman civilization in Europe, and the advent of Christianity.<ref>Religions in Global Society – Page 146, Peter Beyer – 2006</ref><ref name="Cambridge University Historical Series">Cambridge University Historical Series, An Essay on Western Civilization in Its Economic Aspects, p.40: Hebraism, like Hellenism, has been an all-important factor in the development of Western Civilization; Judaism, as the precursor of Christianity, has indirectly had had much to do with shaping the ideals and morality of western nations since the christian era.</ref><ref name="Caltron J.H Hayas">Caltron J.H Hayas, Christianity and Western Civilization (1953),Stanford University Press, p.2: That certain distinctive features of our Western civilization — the civilization of western Europe and of America— have been shaped chiefly by Judaeo–Graeco–Christianity, Catholic and Protestant.</ref><ref name="Horst Hutter">Horst Hutter, University of New York, Shaping the Future: Nietzsche's New Regime of the Soul And Its Ascetic Practices (2004), p.111:three mighty founders of Western culture, namely Socrates, Jesus, and Plato.</ref><ref name="Fred Reinhard Dallmayr">Fred Reinhard Dallmayr, Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some Exemplary Voices (2004), p.22: Western civilization is also sometimes described as "Christian" or "Judaeo- Christian" civilization.</ref> In the modern era, Western culture has been heavily influenced by the traditions of the Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Age of Enlightenment—and shaped by the expansive colonialism of the 15th-20th centuries. Before the Cold War era, the traditional Western viewpoint identified Western Civilization with the Western Christian (Catholic-Protestant) countries and culture.<ref name="google.com">[1]|Google books results in English language between the 1800–1960 period</ref> Its political usage was temporarily changed by the antagonism during the Cold War in the mid-to-late 20th Century (1947–1991).

The term originally had a literal geographic meaning. It contrasted Europe with the linked cultures and civilizations of the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the remote Far East, which early-modern Europeans saw as the East. Today this has little geographic relevance since the concept of the West has been expanded to include the former European colonies in the Americas, Russian Northern Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

In the contemporary cultural meaning, the phrase "Western world" includes Europe, as well as many countries of European colonial origin with substantial European ancestral populations in the Americas, Asia and Oceania.<ref name=autogenerated1>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>


Western world sections
Intro   Introduction   Western culture  Historical divisions  Modern definitions  Other views  See also  Maps  References  Further reading  

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