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By David Archard, Trevor A. Hart, Visit Amazon's Nigel Rapport Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Nigel Rapport, , Paul Gifford

2000 Years and past brings jointly essentially the most eminent thinkers of our time - experts in philosophy, theology, anthropology and cultural concept. In a horizon-scanning paintings, they give the impression of being back and forth to discover what hyperlinks us to the matrix of the Judaeo-Christian culture from which Western cultural identification has evolved.Their plural reflections increase looking questions about how we stream from prior to destiny - and approximately who 'we' are. What do the catastrophes of the 20th century represent for hopes of growth? Can put up - Enlightment humanism and its proposal of human nature live on with no religion? If the 'numinous magic worldwide capitalism' is our personal massive shadow solid overseas, does that shadow supply desire adequate of a communal destiny? Has the fashionable, secularized West now outgrown its originating religion matrix? usually debatable and infrequently visionary, those seven new essays ask: how can we inform - and rewrite - the tale of the typical period? brought through Paul Gifford, and mentioned in a full of life dialogic end, they upload their exact voices to a debate of profound and pressing topicality.

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Now world history will be completed. Now humanity will be perfected. Now unhindered progress in all spheres of life is beginning. There will be no more qualitative changes. Lessing’s famous essay ‘On the Education of the Human Race’ (1777) became the founding document of the German Enlightenment. Lessing felt that he was the prophet of ‘the third age of the Spirit’ announced by Joachim of Fiore. The time is coming, Lessing wrote, when everyone will know the truth for himself without the mediation of the church, and will recognize and do the good because it is good, not out of fear of punishment.

Since the beginning of modern times, scientific reason has become what Max Horkheimer calls ‘instrumental reason’; that is, reason whose knowledge-determining interest is power and utility. Antiquity’s idea of reason as phronesis links science with wisdom; but this idea was brushed aside. According to Kant’s rationalization of scientific reason, reason ‘sees’ only ‘that which it brings forth according to its own design’ by ‘compelling nature to respond to its questions’ (Foreword to the Critique of Pure Reason, 2nd edn).

Wide-eyed, the angel sees before him in the past ‘ruins upon ruins’; the wreckage of history rises up to heaven before him. He is petrified, ‘for the tempest blowing from Paradise’ is caught up in his wings, so that he cannot fold them again. But what did this angel really want to do? For what purpose was he sent? ’ But he is unable to do so as long as the tempest is caught up in his wings. ‘What we call progress is this tempest’, says Benjamin. So we might conclude, conversely, that if we could interrupt this tempest, and could get away from the wind of progress, the angel would be able to waken the dead and piece together what is broken, and we could remember them, and our memories would be healed.

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