Download Axial Civilizations And World History (Jerusalem Studies in by Emeritus Professor of Sociology Johann P Arnason, Shmuel N PDF

By Emeritus Professor of Sociology Johann P Arnason, Shmuel N Eisenstadt, Bjorn Wittrock

The overarching topic of the ebook is the historic that means of the Axial Age, generally outlined as a interval of a number of centuries round the heart of the final millennium BCE, and its cultural concepts. The civilizational styles that grew out of this really artistic part are a very worthwhile subject matter for comparative research. The e-book comprises essays on cultural alterations in old Greece, historic Israel, Iran, India and China, in addition to history advancements within the center civilizations of the traditional close to East. An introductory part offers 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 e-book could be valuable for comparative historians of cultures and religions, in addition to for historic sociologists attracted to the comparative research of civilizations. it may additionally aid linking the fields of classical, biblical and Asian reviews to broader interdisciplinary debates in the humanities sciences.

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The themes highlighted and the questions raised—often only in passing—in Eisenstadt’s introduction are addressed from a number of perspectives by other contributors to this volume. Here I will conclude with a few remarks on themes which seem essential to further development of the debate. If there is a common denominator, it is the need to bring more diversity into our interpretations of the Axial Age. 1. The first aspect to be considered is the background to the axial transformations. Eisenstadt is obviously far more sensitive to the historical realities and experiences of early civilizations than Jaspers was, but it can still be argued that his account tends to minimize both the differences between them and—at least on the level of religious traditions—the features that set them apart from the Neolithic world.

8. ” Towards a Historical Sociology of the Axial Age Following Jaspers’s pioneering but unbalanced interpretation of the Axial Age, two major attempts, by S. N. 34 Here the main focus will be on Eisenstadt’s work. It is, of course, not being suggested that Voegelin’s conception of the Axial Age is immaterial to our discussion—in fact, it will become clear that questions arising in connection with Eisenstadt’s arguments have some bearing on Voegelin’s approach. But for my present purposes, Eisenstadt’s historical-sociological reconceptualization of the Axial Age is of primary importance.

In that sense, the breakthrough to a transcendental vision would not necessarily involve a total transformation of the worldview: it might be localized in a particular dimension of social life. To use a highly relevant example, the image of the polis as a community of citizens could be interpreted as a transcendental model in permanent tension with the mundane orders of really existing poleis, and in that capacity, it provides a framework for political thought. e. ” On the other hand, we could (without risking any conflation with the other-worldly) attribute a more specific and emphatic meaning to the transcendental dimension, and do so in light of the historical background against which the breakthroughs took place.

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