Western civilization, western culture or the West is made up of Europe (Western and Central Europe), Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and (in part) South Africa. Westernization is the transformation of a culture to Western standards.
Western civilization was defined by historian Arnold Toynbee as that part of the world in which those who practice the Christian religion are in a majority, also called Christendom. By this definition, parts of Africa would now also be part of Western civilization since many Africans have been converted to Christianity since the 1950s. The most common languages spoken in Western civilization are English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German.
Western culture is identified with Western Christianity and the European culture (most notably in the Greek and Roman heritage,Western Christianity, and Liberalism). We can identify this in European countries.
- Toynbee, Arnold 1959. A study of history. Volume XI—Historical Atlas and Gazetteer. Oxford University Press. Map, page 93 “Civilization current in AD 1952” – Western civilization is shown as including the Americas, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.