calamity, “civilized diseases, ” disease vector, endemic, epidemic, great sociocultural systems, great socioeconomic systems, infectious diseases, outbreak, pandemic, plague, pestilence, revolution, social change, zoonotic diseases


This paper analyses the phenomenon of pestilence through paradigmatic and methodological lenses of several outstanding social scholars, including Pitirim A. Sorokin, William H. McNeill, and Jared M. Diamond. All three thinkers have advanced original, fundamental, and revolutionary paradigms regarding the profound role which infectious diseases played, are playing, and will continue to play in world history and culture. The phenomenon of pestilence is studied in the context of other major calamities. The relevant historic, as well as contemporary macro-level and long-term sociocultural research, is reviewed. The author advances a number of original concepts, as well as makes relevant projections into the future.