According to Harry Redner, the phrase "beyond civilization" refers to the new and unprecedented condition the world is now entering—specifically, the condition commonly known as globalization. Redner approaches globalization from the perspective of the study of civilization, thereby revealing the deeper historical meaning of the globalization process. The scope of Redner’s investigation extends beyond culture and focuses on the economic, political, cognitive, and technical factors that touch upon society. Historically speaking, these trends began in the Axial Age (700–300 BC) with the cultivation of literacy and culminated in the late stages of Western civilization. In his view, anything that threatens literacy also threatens civilization.