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Transcendence as Reflexive Sacredness: The “Axial Age” as a Turning Point in Religious History

Hans Joas

in The Power of the Sacred: An Alternative to the Narrative of Disenchantment

Published in print:
2021
Published Online:
March 2021
ISBN:
9780190933272
eISBN:
9780190933302
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190933272.003.0006
Subject:
Sociology, Social Theory, Sociology of Religion

This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the debate on the so-called Axial Age. It presents the major contributors from Karl Jaspers on, but also the predecessors in the 18th and 19th ... More


The Axial Age and the Classical Style of Thought

Michael Horace Barnes

in Stages of Thought: The Co-Evolution of Religious Thought and Science

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780195396270
eISBN:
9780199852482
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396270.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter surveys the axial periods of India, China, and Greece. The primitive and archaic styles of thought continue as a significant part of electronic cultures today. To describe the axial ... More


Ancient Egypt and the Theory of the Axial Age

Jan Assmann

in From Akhenaten to Moses: Ancient Egypt and Religious Change

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9789774166310
eISBN:
9781617975899
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:
10.5743/cairo/9789774166310.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Religion in the Ancient World

The theory of the Axial Age goes back to the 18th century but was made famous by the philosopher Karl Jaspers, who coined the term in 1949. It is described as the turn from an immanent (this-worldly) ... More


The Axial Age in World History

Shmuel N. Eisenstadt

in The Cultural Values of Europe

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
June 2013
ISBN:
9781846311383
eISBN:
9781846315800
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/liverpool/9781846311383.003.0002
Subject:
Society and Culture, Cultural Studies

This chapter analyses the characteristics of the ‘axial civilizations’ or those civilizations that crystallized during the time from 500 bc to the advent of Islam in the seventh century ad. It then ... More


Hannah Arendt's Jewish Identity

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

in Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823230754
eISBN:
9780823235858
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823230754.003.0019
Subject:
Philosophy, Political Philosophy

The topic of Hannah Arendt's Jewish identity can be approached from many directions. This chapter considers Arendt in the context of the vision of world history ... More


From Akhenaten to Moses: Ancient Egypt and Religious Change

Jan Assmann

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9789774166310
eISBN:
9781617975899
Item type:
book
Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:
10.5743/cairo/9789774166310.001.0001
Subject:
Religion, Religion in the Ancient World

The turn from polytheism to monotheism created the world in which we are still living. Akhenaten and Moses symbolize this turn in its incipient, revolutionary stages and represent two civilizations ... More


Awakenings:: A Cultural History

Thomas DeGloma

in Seeing the Light: The Social Logic of Personal Discovery

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9780226175744
eISBN:
9780226175911
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226175911.003.0002
Subject:
Sociology, Culture

When individuals tell awakening stories, they weigh in on cultural disputes over truth and meaning that emerged during various historical eras and evolved through time. This chapter sketches a ... More


Habermas on Religion and Postmetaphysical Philosophy in Political Discourse

Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

in Understanding Liberal Democracy: Essays in Political Philosophy

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199558957
eISBN:
9780191744808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.003.0016
Subject:
Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion

Among the most prominent themes in the publications of Jürgen Habermas over the past decade is that of the inter-relations among religion, postmetaphysical philosophy, and political discourse. The ... More


Conclusions: A Second Axial Age

Allen James Fromherz

in The Near West: Medieval North Africa, Latin Europe and the Mediterranean in the Second Axial Age

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780748642946
eISBN:
9781474418850
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642946.003.0008
Subject:
History, Middle East History

This concluding chapter reviews how in the twelfth century midpoint, major religious traditions throughout Eurasia and North Africa experienced a great spiritual transformation. The rise of ... More


Governments and Gods: A Theistic Self

E. Fuller Torrey

in Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods: Early Humans and the Origins of Religion

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
January 2019
ISBN:
9780231183369
eISBN:
9780231544863
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231183369.003.0008
Subject:
Biology, Neurobiology

This chapter describes the gods in Mesopotamia, from where we have the first written records. The gods initially had responsibility for life (e.g. food production) and death (e.g. the afterlife) ... More


The Cultural Values of Europe: An Introduction

Hans Joas

in The Cultural Values of Europe

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
June 2013
ISBN:
9781846311383
eISBN:
9781846315800
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/liverpool/9781846311383.003.0001
Subject:
Society and Culture, Cultural Studies

This introductory chapter explores the definition of European values and Europe's cultural tradition. It also summarises the axial age character of the traditions that shaped Europe and lists some ... More


Introduction: North Africa and the Mediterranean Paradox

Allen James Fromherz

in The Near West: Medieval North Africa, Latin Europe and the Mediterranean in the Second Axial Age

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780748642946
eISBN:
9781474418850
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642946.003.0001
Subject:
History, Middle East History

This introductory chapter provides the background for the story of interaction between Berbers, Arabs, Latins, Muslims, Christians, and Jews in North Africa and Latin Europe and across the Western ... More


Conclusion: The Axial Age, Pluralism, and Hebraism

Steven Grosby

in Hebraism in Religion, History, and Politics: The Third Culture

Published in print:
2021
Published Online:
April 2021
ISBN:
9780199640317
eISBN:
9780191827280
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780199640317.003.0005
Subject:
Religion, Judaism

Hebraism has to do with the changing relation between Christianity and Judaism, between the New and Old Testaments, made possible by the cultural phenomenon of different contents coexisting within a ... More


The Old World Literary System

Walter Cohen

in A History of European Literature: The West and the World from Antiquity to the Present

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
March 2017
ISBN:
9780198732679
eISBN:
9780191796951
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732679.003.0002
Subject:
Literature, European Literature

World literature is a systematic category from the start—in antiquity referring to an Old World literary system. Three stages of that system can be discerned in the ancient world. The first, ... More


Religion and The Civil Sphere: A Global Perspective

Robert N. Bellah

in Solidarity, Justice, and Incorporation: Thinking through The Civil Sphere

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
April 2015
ISBN:
9780199811908
eISBN:
9780190239343
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199811908.003.0002
Subject:
Sociology, Social Theory, Politics, Social Movements and Social Change

This chapter engages Alexander over the role of religion in the civil sphere. It asserts that the “secular faith” that Alexander views as animating the civil sphere must be seen as originating in the ... More


Deceptive Violence

Tabish Khair

in The New Xenophobia

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
April 2016
ISBN:
9780199463589
eISBN:
9780199086368
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463589.003.0006
Subject:
Literature, 20th-century and Contemporary Literature

With particular reference to a book by Steven Pinker, this chapter looks at violence and its nature. It argues that under new xenophobia (and high capitalism) only some kinds of violence—usually ... More


The Evolutionary Issues

G. E. R. Lloyd

in Intelligence and Intelligibility: Cross-Cultural Studies of Human Cognitive Experience

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
May 2020
ISBN:
9780198854593
eISBN:
9780191888847
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198854593.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

What conclusions should be drawn about human intelligence from the study of biological and cultural evolution? This chapter examines critically theories of some historical Great Divide among human ... More


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