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An Historian's Approach to Religion 1952–1953

Arnold Joseph Toynbee

Summary

Table of Contents

Abstract

Toynbee heralds the historian’s view of the universe as one complementary to those of other professions. The difficulty in assessing the historical context of humankind is to look past the inherent self-centredness which is both essential for survival and sinful. Self-centredness is unavoidable, but it must be minimized when doing history. This is a challenge that plagued Greek historians and, to a lesser degree, Indian historians as well. For Toynbee the foundation of Western histories owes less to these two approaches than to the Judaeo-Zoroastrian view of history, which places the divine at the centre. However, according to Toynbee, Western ideologies have adopted the Judaic concept of being the ‘chosen people’ while discarding the complementary belief in God.
Scott Spurlock
University of Edinburgh

Publication Data

OnlineOxford University Press1956
Original n/a
Cover
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Templeton Press