Early communities and states -- Egypt -- Mesoptamia, Assyria, Babylon -- Iran -- Israel -- India -- China -- The Greeks -- Rome -- Graeco-Roman humanism -- The Kingdom of Heaven and the Church of Christ -- Themes : similarities and differences between cultures -- General conclusion.
Chaldaea and Egypt.--China: duty and detachment.--The Indian annihilation of individuality.--Zarathushtra.--The prophets of Israel.--The heroic adjustment in Greek poetry.--Greek philosophers.--Intermediaries.--Jesus.--Paul.--Augustine.--The arrows are beyond thee.
The division of Christianity into two: Orthodox Christian and Western Civilizations by Arnold Toynbee should be understood to describe not a difference of creedal belief but different spiritualities. Christian spiritualities are the animating forces for the material disposition of religious resources and the motivation that patterns individual behavior. The past offers many examples of how spirituality provides discipline to believers to overcome conflictive social pressures and follow doctrinal obligations. The monastic orders recast the evangelical counsel to holding material goods in (...) common during the Middle Ages and groups like the Franciscans, Jesuits, Methodists, Quakers, etc. have performed similar functions. Despite the erosion of institutional resources since the Enlightenment and contemporary secularism, Christianity has produced various new spiritualities. For the III Millennium, it appears the two major characteristics of Christian spirituality include the discipline to “let go” that rejects the dystopia of contemporary society; and the embrace an earth spirituality that extends respect for life to the environment and an equitable distribution of material resources. (shrink)
The book is about three things. First, how Ancient thinkers perceived humans as like or unlike other animals; second about the justification for taking a humane attitude towards natural things; and third about how moral claims count as true, and how they can be discovered or acquired. Was Aristotle was right to see continuity in the psychological functions of animal and human souls? The question cannot be settled without taking a moral stance. As we can either focus on continuity (...) or on discontinuities, how should natural science draw the boundaries? Moral agents act and react in a world that they see under a certain description, and there is no value free science that can settle what is the correct description. This book asks us to think about where moral justification could come from, and suggests that the supposed ‘moral status’ of the object cannot provide the answer. For the moral status of the object is a product of our own imagination, and once we see that, we also see that there remains the question where we ought to have the will to see it. Furthermore, since the perception of moral truth involves the development of imagination and will, the means to attain it will be better served by engagement with poetry and literature than with enquiries that seek to exclude the engagement of the imagination, or any appeal to the beauty of nature or the love of one's fellow creatures. (shrink)
Saving the City provides a detailed analysis of the attempts of ancient writers and thinkers, from Homer to Cicero, to construct and recommend political ideals of statesmanship and ruling, of the political community and of how it should be founded in justice. Also, Malcolm Schofield debates to what extent the Greeks and Romans deal with the same issues as modern political thinkers.
Machine generated contents note: 1. New, new, new; 2. Loosening the grip of the past; 3. The transformations of Kaineus; 4. Old and new; 5. Nothing new under the sun; 6. The birth of Athena; 7. Inventions of Eris; 8. The newest song; 9. Constructions of novelty; 10. So what's new?
A people divided -- Impact of science -- The physical world and its life forms -- Human beginnings -- Our animal instincts -- An inward look -- Emergence of civilization -- Flaws in civilizations -- Brutal despair in ancient Rome -- Persistent cruelty -- The search for ethics in antiquity -- Ecclesiastical search for ethics in Christianity -- The Gospel's ethical impact -- Ethical impact in multi-invaded Britannia -- Ethical impact in seeking freedom -- Rather humanitarian Britain -- Rather (...) humanitarian United States -- The goal of the Gospel -- Concluding summation. (shrink)
The contribution of the Ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizably different without the formative influence of Ancient Greek models. -/- Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city - in Greek, the polis, from which we derive 'politics'. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms (...) as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny and - last but by no means least - democracy. -/- This stimulating Very Short Introduction to Ancient Greece takes the polis as its starting point. Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language around 1400 BCE, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around CE 330. Covering everything from politics, trade, and travel to slavery, gender, religion, and philosophy, it provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization that helped give birth to the world as we know it. (shrink)
The contribution of the Ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizably different without the formative influence of Ancient Greek models. -/- Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city - in Greek, the polis, from which we derive 'politics'. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms (...) as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny and - last but by no means least - democracy. -/- This highly stimulating introduction to Ancient Greece takes the polis as its starting point. Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language around 1400 BCE, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around CE 330. Covering everything from politics, trade, and travel to slavery, gender, religion, and philosophy, it provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization that helped give birth to the world as we know it. (shrink)
This volume contains eighteen essays by established and younger historians that examine non-democratic alternative political systems and ideologies--oligarchies, monarchies, mixed constitutions--along with diverse forms of communal and regional associations such as ethnoi, amphiktyonies, and confederacies. The papers, which span the length and breadth of the Hellenic world highlight the immense political flexibility and diversity of ancient Greek civilization.
We have reached the peculiar situation where the advance of mainstream science has required us to dismiss as unreal our own existence as free, creative agents, the very condition of there being science at all. Efforts to free science from this dead-end and to give a place to creative becoming in the world have been hampered by unexamined assumptions about what science should be, assumptions which presuppose that if creative becoming is explained, it will be explained away as an illusion. (...) In this paper it is shown that this problem has permeated the whole of European civilization from the Ancient Greeks onwards, leading to a radical disjunction between cosmology which aims at a grasp of the universe through mathematics and history which aims to comprehend human action through stories. By going back to the Ancient Greeks and tracing the evolution of the denial of creative becoming, I trace the layers of assumptions that must in some way be transcended if we are to develop a truly post-Egyptian science consistent with the forms of understanding and explanation that have evolved within history. (shrink)
Philosophers are repeating their ancient mantras. Economists are intoxicating by their pseudo-theories. Politicians are just puppets manipulated by the strings held by others. Ordinary people are lost and confused. This is why our civilization is fatuous and superficial. Is it so by some sinister design? Or is it so because we lost our integrity and our inner worth? From this predicament of darkness and impotence, only spiritual light and deeper wisdom can lead to fulfillment and desirable future for all.
Africa prides itself in its ancient civilizations, but the celebratory value of those civilizations is overshadowed by the recurrent challenges of poverty, political and religious wars, ethnic strife, and unrelenting tyrannical rule. Of all these challenges, the inabilities of state institutions to reconcile religious and confessional divisions represent the hardest. Scholars on civilization have in recent years contemplated operationalizing of scientific thinking. The sense of nationalism that tends to look at civilizations as sacred attributes of societies is challenged by (...) the secular features in quantitative analysis. The expansion of global trade and commerce effectively facilitated by the swiftness of Information Technology (IT) provide opportunities for identifying across cultural and civilizational variables of peace and “wisdom”. This analysis focuses on Africa’s religious political experiences to state that Africa’s problems are intractable even to the dynamic theories of IT and globalization. (shrink)
It is often said that Greek civilization underwent a transition from myth to reason. But what does this assertion mean? Is it true? Were the Greeks special in having evolved our sort of reason, or is that a mirage? In this book, some of the world's leading experts on ancient Greek myth, religion, philosophy, and history reconsider these fundamental issues.
This essay is concerned with the central issue of philosophical anthropology: the relation between nature and culture. Although Rousseau was the first thinker to introduce this topic within the modern discourse of philosophy and the cultural sciences, it has its origin in Diogenes the Cynic, who was a disciple of Socrates. In my essay I (1) historically introduce a few aspects of philosophical anthropology, (2) deal with the nature–culture exchange, as introduced in Kant, then I (3) relate this topic to (...) the Ancient Cynic Diogenes. Surprisingly, although we usually identify Critical Theory and Freudian psychoanalysis as theories that have shown that cultural progress should not be comprehended as a development from nature to culture, and that instead it should be conceived as a development from culture against (external as well as internal) nature, I show that Cynicism can be conceived as a vivid example within the history of our culture that reveals a double sense of repression and alienation, which is part of human civilization and mankind. (shrink)