The conversion of the emperor Constantine to Christianity in 368 AD brought a transformation to Christianity and to western civilization, the effects of which we still feel today. Previously, the Roman empire had absorbed and sustained the Greek intellectual tradition which, in the astronomy of Ptolemy, the medicine of Galen and the philosophy of Plotinus, reached new heights. Constantine turned Rome from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilisation of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority. The century after Constantine's conversion saw the development of an alliance between church and state which stifled freedom of thought and the tradition of Greek rationalism which was intrinsic to it. The churches enjoyed enormous patronage and exemptions from tax, and in return allowed the emperors to take on the definition and enforcement of an increasingly narrow religious orthodoxy. This book explores how the European mind was closed by the revolution of the fourth century. It looks at the rise of the 'divine' monarch, the struggle as Christianity painfully separated itself from Judaism, the conflict between faith and reason, and the problems in finding any kind of rational basis for Christian theology. In these centuries, a turning-point for Western civilisation, we see the development of Christian anti-Semitism, the origins of the opposition of religion and science and the roots of Christianity's discomfort with sex, issues which haunt the Christian churches to this day. The Closing of the Western Mind is a major work of history. Wide-ranging and ambitious, its central theme is the relationship between the two wellsprings of our civilisation, the Judaeo-Christian and the Greco-Roman, and how the tensions between them have created the culture in which we continue to live, think and believe.
Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.
Der Nr.1-Bestseller aus den USA: Wie man in einer von Chaos und Irrsinn regierten Welt bei Verstand bleibt! Wie können wir in der modernen Welt überleben? Jordan B. Peterson beantwortet diese Frage humorvoll, überraschend und informativ. Er erklärt, warum wir Kinder beim Skateboarden alleine lassen sollten, welches grausame Schicksal diejenigen ereilt, die alles allzu schnell kritisieren und warum wir Katzen, die wir auf der Straße antreffen, immer streicheln sollten. Doch was bitte erklärt uns das Nervensystem eines Hummers über unsere Erfolgschancen im Leben? Und warum beteten die alten Ägypter die Fähigkeit zu genauer Beobachtung als höchste Gottheit an? Dr. Peterson diskutiert Begriffe wie Disziplin, Freiheit, Abenteuer und Verantwortung und kondensiert Wahrheit und Weisheit der Welt in 12 praktischen Lebensregeln. »12 Rules For Life« erschüttert die Grundannahmen von moderner Wissenschaft, Glauben und menschlicher Natur. Dieses Buch verändert Ihr Leben garantiert!
Das berühmte Standardwerk von Simone de Beauvoir. Die universelle Standortbestimmung der Frau, die aus jahrtausendealter Abhängigkeit von männlicher Vorherrschaft ausgebrochen ist, hat nichts an Gültigkeit eingebüßt. Die Scharfsichtigkeit der grundlegenden Analyse tritt in der Neuübersetzung noch deutlicher hervor.
Die Geschichte der Menschheit – eine ewige Abfolge von Krieg, Genozid, Mord, Folter und Vergewaltigung. Und es wird immer schlimmer. Aber ist das richtig? In einem wahren Opus Magnum, einer groß angelegten Gesamtgeschichte unserer Zivilisation, untersucht der weltbekannte Evolutionspsychologe Steven Pinker die Entwicklung der Gewalt von der Urzeit bis heute und in allen ihren individuellen und kollektiven Formen, vom Verprügeln der Ehefrau bis zum geplanten Völkermord. Unter Rückgriff auf eine Fülle von wissenschaftlichen Belegen aus den unterschiedlichsten Disziplinen beweist er zunächst, dass die Gewalt im Laufe der Geschichte stetig abgenommen hat und wir heute in der friedlichsten Epoche der Menschheit leben. Diese verblüffende Tatsache verlangt nach einer Erklärung: Pinker schält in seiner Analyse sechs Entwicklungen heraus, die diesen Trend begünstigt haben, untersucht die Psychologie der Gewalt auf fünf innere Dämonen, die Gewaltausübung begünstigen, benennt vier Eigenschaften des Menschen, die den inneren Dämonen entgegenarbeiten und isoliert schließlich fünf historische Kräfte, die uns heute in der friedlichsten Zeit seit jeher leben lassen. Pinkers Darstellung revolutioniert den Blick auf die Welt und uns Menschen. Und sie macht Hoffnung und Mut. »Pinkers Studie ist eine leidenschaftliche Antithese zum verbreiteten Kulturpessimismus und dem Gefühl des moralischen Untergangs der Moderne.« Der Spiegel »Steven Pinker ist ein Top-Autor und verdient all die Superlative, mit denen man ihn überhäuft« New York Times» Die Argumente von Steven Pinker haben Gewicht [...]. Die Chance, heute Opfer von Gewalt zu werden, ist viel geringer als zu jeder anderen Zeit. Das ist eine spannende Nachricht, die konträr zur öffentlichen Wahrnehmung ist." Deutschlandfunk »Steven Pinker ist ein intellektueller Rockstar« The Guardian »Der Evolutionspsychologe Steven Pinker gilt als wichtigster Intellektueller« Süddeutsche Zeitung »Verflucht überzeugend« Hamburger Abendblatt
For its last eighty years, the Western Roman Empire was ruled by emperors who were unable to provide the leadership demanded by the crisis the Empire faced throughout this period. Power was exercised instead by the commanders of the Western armies, the magisteri militum or Masters of the Soldiers, four of whom stood out – Stilicho, Constantius, Aetius and Ricimer. Challenged by barbarian invasions, constantly diminishing resources, and indifference and sometimes hostility from the imperial court, the Senate and the Roman people, these men prolonged the existence of the Empire in the West beyond what would otherwise have been its natural span. This book tells the story of the collapse of the Western Empire, as seen through the lives of these individuals, a collapse that ended more than political and military structures, that encompassed the end of an ancient pagan culture and the inception of the age of Christianity.
A sweeping narrative of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The Fall of the Roman Empire has been a best-selling subject since the 18th century. Since then, over 200 very diverse reasons have been advocated for the collapse of the western half of the Roman Empire. Until very recently, the academic view embarrassedly downplayed the violence and destruction, in an attempt to provide a more urbane account of late antiquity: barbarian invasions were mistakenly described as the movement of peoples. It was all painfully tame and civilised. But now Adrian Goldsworthy comes forward with his trademark combination of clear narrative, common sense, and a thorough mastery of the sources. In telling the story from start to finish, he rescues the era from the diffident and mealy-mouthed: this is a red-blooded account of aggressive barbarian attacks, palace coups, scheming courtiers and corrupt emperors who set the bar for excess. It is 'old fashioned history' in the best sense: an accessible narrative with colourful characters whose story reveals the true reasons for the fall of Rome.
Mit über 200.000 verkauften Exemplaren dominierte „Power – Die 48 Gesetze der Macht“ von Robert Greene monatelang die Bestsellerlisten. Nun erscheint der Klassiker als Kompaktausgabe: knapp, prägnant, unterhaltsam. Wer Macht haben will, darf sich nicht zu lange mit moralischen Skrupeln aufhalten. Wer glaubt, dass ihn die Mechanismen der Macht nicht interessieren müssten, kann morgen ihr Opfer sein. Wer behauptet, dass Macht auch auf sanftem Weg erreichbar ist, verkennt die Wirklichkeit. Dieses Buch ist der Machiavelli des 21. Jahrhunderts, aber auch eine historische und literarische Fundgrube voller Überraschungen.
This volume in the highly respected Cambridge History of Science series is devoted to the history of science in the Middle Ages from the North Atlantic to the Indus Valley. Medieval science was once universally dismissed as non-existent - and sometimes it still is. This volume reveals the diversity of goals, contexts and accomplishments in the study of nature during the Middle Ages. Organized by topic and culture, its essays by distinguished scholars offer the most comprehensive and up-to-date history of medieval science currently available. Intended to provide a balanced and inclusive treatment of the medieval world, contributors consider scientific learning and advancement in the cultures associated with the Arabic, Greek, Latin and Hebrew languages. Scientists, historians and other curious readers will all gain a new appreciation for the study of nature during an era that is often misunderstood.
Recent books by, among others, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have thrust atheism firmly into the popular, media, and academic spotlight. This so-called New Atheism is arguably the most striking development in western socio-religious culture of the past decade or more. As such, it has spurred fertile (and often heated) discussions both within, and between, a diverse range of disciplines. Yet atheism, and the New Atheism, are by no means co-extensive. Interesting though it indeed is, the New Atheism is a single, historically and culturally specific manifestation of positive atheism (the that there is/are no God/s), which is itself but one form of a far deeper, broader, and more significant global phenomenon. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism—understood in the broad sense of 'an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods'—in all the richness and diversity of its historical and contemporary expressions. Bringing together an international team of established and emerging scholars, it probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, natural sciences, gender and sexuality studies, literary criticism, film studies, musicology) and in a range of global contexts (Western Europe, North America, post-communist Europe, the Islamic world, Japan, India). Both surveying and synthesizing previous work, and presenting the major fruits of innovative recent research, the handbook is set to be a landmark text for the study of atheism.
This volume presents evidence of the extent and effects of intercultural contacts across Europe and the Mediterranean rim, opening up a new understanding of early medieval civilisation and its continuing influence in both Western and Eastern cultures today. From the perspectives of textual transmission, cultural memory, religion, art and cultural traditions, this work explores the central question of how ideas travelled in the medieval world, challenging the conventional notion of insular communities in the Middle Ages. Despite the schism between East and West that took hold after the thirteenth century this volume reveals a rich and extensive cultural exchange and demonstrates that transmission of ideas and culture across borders began much earlier than the Crusades. It contributes to new perspectives on medieval cities, Christian Europe's history with the Byzantine and Islamic Mediterranean, the landscape of power and the power-plays of the medieval Church, and the way in which cross-cultural transmission affected all of these areas.
The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism shows how people can live together and overcome the challenge of religious terrorism by adopting a "secular outlook" on life and politics. Shows how secularism can answer the problem of religious terrorism Provides new perspectives on how religious minorities can be integrated into liberal democracies Reveals how secularism has gained a new political and moral significance. Also examines such topics as atheism, religious criticism and free speech
Egypt, Greece and Rome is regarded as one of the best general histories of the ancient world. It is written for the general reader and the student coming to the subject for the first time and provides a reliable and highly accessible point of entry to the period. The volume begins with the early civilizations of Sumer (modern Iraq) and continues through to the Islamic invasions and the birth of modern Europe after the collapse of the western Roman empire. The book ranges beyond political history to cover philosophy, art and literature. A wide range of maps, illustrations and photographs complements the text. The second edition incorporates new chapters on the ancient Mediterranean and the Ancient Near East, as well as extended coverage of Egypt.
Incest, explicit violence, homosexual rape—all presented in graphic clarity for general movie audiences. The fight for artistic freedom in Hollywood movies reached a boiling point when Bob Guccione combined traditional and adult filmmaking values in 1979’s controversial Caligula. Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse, was passionate about taking his First Amendment battles out of the bedroom and into the courtroom. Through his determination and four-year legal battle, the film was distributed worldwide and now celebrates its 40th anniversary while achieving cult status. This is the story of the making of the film, its distribution, and its social and cultural impact.
In recent years, the relations between science and religion have been the object of renewed attention. Developments in physics, biology and the neurosciences have reinvigorated discussions about the nature of life and ultimate reality. At the same time, the growth of anti-evolutionary and intelligent design movements has led many to the view that science and religion are necessarily in conflict. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the relations between science and religion, with contributions from historians, philosophers, scientists and theologians. It explores the impact of religion on the origins and development of science, religious reactions to Darwinism, and the link between science and secularization. It also offers in-depth discussions of contemporary issues, with perspectives from cosmology, evolutionary biology, psychology, and bioethics. The volume is rounded out with philosophical reflections on the connections between atheism and science, the nature of scientific and religious knowledge, and divine action and human freedom.

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