Universal history

a literary genre of history writing. Not to be confused with world history (field)

Universal history, world history or global history examines history from a global perspective.

It looks for common patterns that one can find across all cultures. Universal historians use a thematic approach. That means they look at history from two viewpoints: On the one hand they look at processes of world history that have drawn people of the world together, on the other hand they want to find out how patterns of world history reveal the diversity of the human experience.

The study of universal or global history is in some ways a product of the current period of accelerated globalization. This period has two tendencies: it integrates various cultures and it shows their differences when people of different cultures and civilizations have to live with each other.[1]

To discuss "the history of the world" in a unified framework is not that new. For example, it was a genre popular in the 19th century, and with Christian historians going back to at least the 4th century.

  1. See Samuel Huntington: Clash of Civilizations, 1993

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