By Emeritus Professor of Sociology Johann P Arnason, Shmuel N Eisenstadt, Bjorn Wittrock
The overarching subject matter of the ebook is the historic that means of the Axial Age, more often than not outlined as a interval of a number of centuries round the center of the final millennium BCE, and its cultural techniques. The civilizational styles that grew out of this exceedingly inventive part are a very worthwhile topic for comparative research. The booklet comprises essays on cultural variations in historic Greece, old Israel, Iran, India and China, in addition to history advancements within the center civilizations of the traditional close to East. An introductory part bargains with the background of the talk at the AxialAge, the theoretical questions that experience emerged from it, and the current kingdom of the dialogue. The booklet should be necessary for comparative historians of cultures and religions, in addition to for ancient sociologists drawn to the comparative research of civilizations. it's going to additionally support linking the fields of classical, biblical and Asian reviews to broader interdisciplinary debates in the humanities sciences.
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Extra resources for Axial Civilizations And World History (Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture)
Arnason relationship—irreducible to any constant formula—are a crucial theme for comparative history. Karl Jaspers: Insights and Over-Interpretations Jaspers’s Origin and Goal of History contains the first fully-fledged interpretation of the Axial Age. But from the viewpoint of historical sociology, his line of argument does not lead to results of the kind that could serve to anchor and contextualize further inquiry. ”8 He is interested in the Axial Age as a “total spiritual phenomenon” which subsumes and sublates the sociological aspects.
The imperial idea as such is not an axial invention: for Jaspers, it is a heritage from the ancient civilizations, and its revival is in that sense a return to an earlier phase of history. But the post-axial empires draw on axial sources to construct their ideological frameworks. It is not clear whether Jaspers thinks that this invests them with genuinely new meaning. Two interconnected questions are involved here, and Jaspers’s preemptive answers to them are neither clear nor consistent: What are the long-term effects of axial legacies, and the patterns of their formative influences?
239-55. See Eisenstadt (1963 and 1978). Eisenstadt (1986), 1. the axial age and its interpreters 39 riences in question. This basic assumption will have to be reconsidered, but for the time being, let us concentrate on the distinction between the transcendental and the mundane, which is obviously essential to Eisenstadt’s whole argument. It is not synonymous with the difference between this-worldly and other-worldly: as Eisenstadt insists, conceptions of the basic distinction—and solutions to the problems posed by it—can be more or less this-worldly or otherworldly.