By Emeritus Professor of Sociology Johann P Arnason, Shmuel N Eisenstadt, Bjorn Wittrock
The overarching subject matter of the publication is the old that means of the Axial Age, ordinarily outlined as a interval of numerous centuries round the heart of the final millennium BCE, and its cultural ideas. The civilizational styles that grew out of this incredibly artistic part are a very profitable subject for comparative research. The e-book includes essays on cultural alterations in historical Greece, old Israel, Iran, India and China, in addition to historical past advancements within the center civilizations of the traditional close to East. An introductory part bargains with the historical past of the talk at the AxialAge, the theoretical questions that experience emerged from it, and the current nation of the dialogue. The publication might be precious for comparative historians of cultures and religions, in addition to for old sociologists drawn to the comparative research of civilizations. it's going to additionally aid linking the fields of classical, biblical and Asian reviews to broader interdisciplinary debates in the humanities sciences.
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Additional resources for Axial Civilizations And World History (Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture)
To return to Jaspers: the next question relates to his definition of the common denominator of axial breakthroughs. ”23 This formulation is obviously reminiscent of Jaspers’s own version of 21 22 23 See Liverani (1988), 629-60 and 934-48. ” Jaspers (1953), 8. 32 johann p. arnason existential philosophy; he seems, in other words, to impose an anachronistic and uniformitarian model on a historical experience that should first be analyzed with all due allowance for diversity. Can the axial breakthroughs be interpreted as a new round of variations on the theme of human being-in-the-world?
It also holds valid for the only non-monotheistic world religion, even if Buddhism came to regard the concrete historicity of its founder as much less important than the monotheistic traditions did. And although the trajectory of Hinduism is much less clear-cut than the others, it seems to include a reflexive turn taken during the period in question, which did not translate directly into further growth or expansion, but generated intellectual resources which would prove crucial a much later resurgence.
These questions—there are, to begin with, six of them, and more could no doubt be added to the list—are not so much posed as indicated ex negativo by Jaspers’s argument. His claims—including some of his most aberrantly unhistorical statements—can, in retrospect, be read as attempts to settle, bypass or neutralize unstated problems to which we must return. 1. The first question concerns the hermeneutical presuppositions of theorizing about the Axial Age. Jaspers presents his thesis—very explicitly—as an alternative to Christian and post-Christian philosophies of history.
Axial Civilizations And World History (Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture) by Emeritus Professor of Sociology Johann P Arnason, Shmuel N Eisenstadt, Bjorn Wittrock