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.
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)
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 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)
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?
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.
Hegel's often-echoed verdict on the apolitical character of philosophy in the Hellenistic age is challenged in this collection of new essays, originally presented at the sixth meeting of the Symposium Hellenisticum. An international team of leading scholars reveals a vigorous intellectual scene of great diversity: analyses of political leadership and the Roman constitution in Aristotelian terms; Cynic repudiation of the polis - but accommodation with its rulers; Stoic and Epicurean theories of justice as the foundation of society; Cicero's moral critique (...) of the traditional political pursuit of glory. The volume as a whole offers a fresh and comprehensive guide to the main currents of social and political philosophy in a period of increasing interest to classicists, philosophers and cultural and intellectual historians. (shrink)
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)