A History of Political Thought

From Ancient Greece to Early Christianity

Author: Janet Coleman

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 9780631218227

Category: Political Science

Page: 376

View: 2932

Janet Coleman's two volume history of European political theorising, from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance is the introduction which many have been waiting for. In this volume, Coleman discusses the acknowledged great works of Greek, Roman, and early Christian writers to show how the historical contexts in which certain ideas about ethics and politics became dominant or fell from dominance, help to explain the ideas themselves. Throughout she draws on recent scholarly commentaries written by specialists in philosophy, contemporary political theory, classical languages and cultures, and on ancient and early Christian history and theology. Janet Coleman shows that the Greeks and Romans' arguments can be seen as logical and coherent if we can grasp the questions they thought it important to answer.

A World History of Ancient Political Thought

Its Significance and Consequences

Author: Antony Black

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192507990

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 7385

This revised and expanded edition of A World History of Ancient Political Thought examines the political thought of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Iran, India, China, Greece, Rome and early Christianity, from prehistory to c.300 CE. The book explores the earliest texts of literate societies, beginning with the first written records of political thought in Egypt and Mesopotamia and ending with the collapse of the Han dynasty and the Western Roman Empire. In most cultures, sacred monarchy was the norm, but this ranged from absolute to conditional authority. 'The people' were recipients of royal (and divine) beneficence. Justice, the rule of law and meritocracy were generally regarded as fundamental. In Greece and Rome, democracy and liberty were born, while in Israel the polity was based on covenant and the law. Confucius taught humaneness, Mozi and Christianity taught universal love; Kautilya and the Chinese 'Legalists' believed in realpolitik and an authoritarian state. The conflict between might and right was resolved in many different ways. Chinese, Greek and Indian thinkers reflected on the origin and purposes of the state. Status and class were embedded in Indian and Chinese thought, the nation in Israelite thought. The Stoics and Cicero, on the other hand, saw humanity as a single unit. Political philosophy, using logic, evidence and dialectic, was invented in China and Greece, statecraft in China and India, political science in Greece. Plato and Aristotle, followed by Polybius and Cicero, started 'western' political philosophy. This book covers political philosophy, religious ideology, constitutional theory, social ethics, official and popular political culture.

On the Greek Origins of Biopolitics

A Reinterpretation of the History of Biopower

Author: Mika Ojakangas

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317216369

Category: Political Science

Page: 108

View: 6411

This book explores the origins of western biopolitics in ancient Greek political thought. Ojakangas’s argues that the conception of politics as the regulation of the quantity and quality of population in the name of the security and happiness of the state and its inhabitants is as old as the western political thought itself: the politico-philosophical categories of classical thought, particularly those of Plato and Aristotle, were already biopolitical categories. In their books on politics, Plato and Aristotle do not only deal with all the central topics of biopolitics from the political point of view, but for them these topics are the very keystone of politics and the art of government. Yet although the Western understanding of politics was already biopolitical in classical Greece, the book does not argue that the history of biopolitics would constitute a continuum from antiquity to the twentieth century. Instead Ojakangas argues that the birth of Christianity entailed a crisis of the classical biopolitical rationality, as the majority of classical biopolitical themes concerning the government of men and populations faded away or were outright rejected. It was not until the renaissance of the classical culture and literature – including the translation of Plato’s and Aristotles political works into Latin – that biopolitics became topical again in the West. The book will be of great interest to scholars and students in the field of social and political studies, social and political theory, moral and political philosophy, IR theory, intellectual history, classical studies.

Created Equal

How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought

Author: Joshua A. Berman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199832404

Category: Political Science

Page: 249

View: 7531

In Created Equal, Joshua Berman engages the text of the Hebrew Bible from a novel perspective, considering it as a document of social and political thought. He proposes that the Pentateuch can be read as the earliest prescription on record for the establishment of an egalitarian polity. What emerges is the blueprint for a society that would stand in stark contrast to the surrounding cultures of the ancient Near East -- Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ugarit, and the Hittite Empire - in which the hierarchical structure of the polity was centered on the figure of the king and his retinue. Berman shows that an egalitarian ideal is articulated in comprehensive fashion in the Pentateuch and is expressed in its theology, politics, economics, use of technologies of communication, and in its narrative literature. Throughout, he invokes parallels from the modern period as heuristic devices to illuminate ancient developments. Thus, for example, the constitutional principles in the Book of Deuteronomy are examined in the light of those espoused by Montesquieu, and the rise of the novel in 18th-century England serves to illuminate the advent of new modes of storytelling in biblical narrative.

Christianity and Politics

A Brief Guide to the History

Author: C. C. Pecknold

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1621892204

Category: Religion

Page: 196

View: 4701

It is not simply for rhetorical flourish that politicians so regularly invoke God's blessings on the country. It is because the relatively new form of power we call the nation-state arose out of a Western political imagination steeped in Christianity. In this brief guide to the history of Christianity and politics, Pecknold shows how early Christianity reshaped the Western political imagination with its new theological claims about eschatological time, participation, and communion with God and neighbor. The ancient view of the Church as the "mystical body of Christ" is singled out in particular as the author traces shifts in its use and meaning throughout the early, medieval, and modern periods-shifts in how we understand the nature of the person, community and the moral conscience that would give birth to a new relationship between Christianity and politics. While we have many accounts of this narrative from either political or ecclesiastical history, we have few that avoid the artificial separation of the two. This book fills that gap and presents a readable, concise, and thought-provoking introduction to what is at stake in the contentious relationship between Christianity and politics. Review "Political theology--thinking theologically about politics and understanding all political thought as first-and-last theological--is a lively field that until now has lacked a lucid and elegantly brief introduction. Pecknold's book fills that gap, and more: it makes a real theoretical contribution of its own, most notably in its treatment of the migration of the treatment of conscience from church to state, and the effects of that migration on the understanding of freedom, political and otherwise." --Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Chair of Catholic Theology, Duke Divinity School "Modern life and thought has a centripetal force, separating into discrete units what should be held together: politics, economics, theology, metaphysics, liturgy, and history. This division of labor creates specialists who can see the units but lack focus for a larger vision . . . In this substantive, readable, brief history of the relation between theology and politics, Pecknold focuses our vision by bringing together his own considerable acumen for both theology and politics. This comprehensive work shows connections that only someone of his breadth of knowledge could see. The result is a first-rate work that sets the bar for political theology." --D. Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology, Marquette University "If it is true that 'youth is wasted on the young,' then to restrict this so-called primer only to beginning learners or students would be wasteful in the extreme. This is a first-rate book, a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource. Yet it also succeeds as an outstanding introduction--readable without being simplistic, engaging key voices and eras in the long interaction between Christianity and politics. I can't wait to use this book with students, both to give them a solid grounding in key ideas and sources, as well as whetting their appetites for joining in these crucial conversations and debates. Anyone with an interest in the church and politics will benefit from this book." --Michael Budde, Professor of Political Science, DePaul University "At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics! Pecknold's book is brief and crystal clear, ideally suited to supplement primary source readings in an introductory class. This book helps the student grasp the sweep of Christianity's political history in a relatively few deft strokes. The broad-brush approach does not mean the book is simplistic, however. To the contrary, Pecknold's analysis is insightful, engaging, and at times contentious. Pecknold shows how theological concepts like 'mystical body' have wandered in and out of different political arrangements. In so doing, he shows students how church history and political history are not two separate subjects but one, and a fascinating one at that." --William T. Cavanaugh, Professor of Theology, St. Thomas University --Wipf and Stock Publishers From the Back Cover ". . . a first-rate work that sets the bar for political theology." -D. Stephen Long, Marquette University "At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics!" -William T. Cavanaugh, St. Thomas University ". . . a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource." -Michael Budde, DePaul University ". . . a lucid and elegantly brief introduction. . . [that] makes a real theoretical contribution of its own." -Paul Griffiths, Duke Divinity School --Back Cover

The Darkening Age

The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

Author: Catherine Nixey

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544800931

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 2337

A bold new history of the rise of Christianity, showing how its radical followers ravaged vast swathes of classical culture, plunging the world into an era of dogma and intellectual darkness “Searingly passionate…Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt…[A] ballista-bolt of a book.” —New York Times Book Review In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city’s greatest temple and razed it—smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria’s Great Library. Today, we refer to Christianity’s conquest of the West as a “triumph.” But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus’s followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. Just one percent of Latin literature would survive the purge; countless antiquities, artworks, and ancient traditions were lost forever. As Catherine Nixey reveals, evidence of early Christians’ campaign of terror has been hiding in plain sight: in the palimpsests and shattered statues proudly displayed in churches and museums the world over. In The Darkening Age, Nixey resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.

A Defense of Rule

Origins of Political Thought in Greece and India

Author: Stuart Gray

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190636319

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 304

View: 4609

At its core, politics is all about relations of rule. Accordingly one of the central preoccupations of political theory is what it means for human beings to rule over one another or share in a process of ruling. While political theorists tend to regard rule as a necessary evil, this book aims to explain how rule need not be understood as anathema to political life. Rather, by looking at some of the earliest traditions of political thought we can rethink rule in ways that evoke stewardship rather than domination. Stuart Gray argues that hierarchical ideas about rule coevolved with political divisions between the human and non-human in western theory. The earliest discernible Greek thought advanced an instrumental relationship between humans and their environment, a position that has persisted into our current age. While this seems a defensible position, Gray points out that such instrumental understandings of the nonhuman world have gotten us into serious trouble, including problems of deforestation, global warming, rising sea levels, species loss, and peak oil. To rethink the concept of rule, A Defense of Rule turns to early Indian political thought that suggests that rule is a relationship predicated on stewardship. The book compares these two traditions of thought in order to suggest that we have a normative duty to the environment, and thus to act in a way that takes the interests of non-human nature into account. Basing his argument on his own original translations of primary sources in ancient Greek and Sanskrit, Gray shows when and how early concepts of rule evolved to justify divisions between the human and nonhuman. In doing so, he argues for a reconsideration of our duties toward the nonhuman natural world.

A History of Medieval Political Thought

300–1450

Author: N.A

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136623353

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 7821

First Published in 2005. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

History of Western Philosophy

Collectors Edition

Author: Bertrand Russell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135692912

Category: Philosophy

Page: 728

View: 632

Now in a special gift edition, and featuring a brand new foreword by Anthony Gottlieb, this is a dazzlingly unique exploration of the works of significant philosophers throughout the ages and a definitive must-have title that deserves a revered place on every bookshelf.

The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought C.350-c.1450

Author: J. H. Burns,James Henderson Burns

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521423885

Category: History

Page: 808

View: 7841

This volume examines the history of a complex and varied body of ideas over a period of more than a thousand years.

Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice

Author: Paul Cartledge

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113948849X

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 7998

Ancient Greece was a place of tremendous political experiment and innovation, and it was here too that the first serious political thinkers emerged. Using carefully selected case-studies, in this book Professor Cartledge investigates the dynamic interaction between ancient Greek political thought and practice from early historic times to the early Roman Empire. Of concern throughout are three major issues: first, the relationship of political thought and practice; second, the relevance of class and status to explaining political behaviour and thinking; third, democracy - its invention, development and expansion, and extinction, prior to its recent resuscitation and even apotheosis. In addition, monarchy in various forms and at different periods and the peculiar political structures of Sparta are treated in detail over a chronological range extending from Homer to Plutarch. The book provides an introduction to the topic for all students and non-specialists who appreciate the continued relevance of ancient Greece to political theory and practice today.

Understanding the Political Philosophers

From Ancient to Modern Times

Author: Alan Haworth

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1135198969

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 2881

This absorbing study invites you to climb inside the heads of the major political philosophers, as it were, and to see the world through their eyes. Beginning with Socrates and concluding with post-Rawlsian theory, Alan Haworth presents the key ideas and developments with clarity and depth. Each chapter provides a concentrated study of a given thinker or group of thinkers and together they constitute a broad account of the main arguments in political philosophy. There are chapters on Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, the Utilitarians, Marx, Rawls, and post-Rawlsian developments. This is a fascinating, lively and engaging look at the topic and will be appropriate for any student taking a course in political philosophy or political thought.

Fundamentals of Philosophy

Author: John Shand

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134588313

Category: Philosophy

Page: 464

View: 1010

Fundamentals of Philosophy is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to philosophy. Based on the well-known series of the same name, this textbook brings together specially commissioned articles by leading philosophers of philosophy's key topics. Each chapter provides an authoritative overview of topics commonly taught at undergraduate level, focusing on the major issues that typically arise when studying the subject. Discussions are up to date and written in an engaging manner so as to provide students with the core building blocks of their degree course. Fundamentals of Philosophy is an ideal starting point for those coming to philosophy for the first time and will be a useful complement to the primary texts studied at undergraduate level. Ideally suited to novice philosophy students, it will also be of interest to those in related subjects across the humanities and social sciences.

Philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds

A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

Author: Peter Adamson

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198728026

Category: History

Page: 360

View: 4752

Peter Adamson offers an accessible, humorous tour through a period of eight hundred years when some of the most influential of all schools of thought were formed. He introduces us to Cynics and Skeptics, Epicureans and Stoics, emperors and slaves, and traces the development of early Christian philosophy and of ancient science. A major theme of the book is in fact the competition between pagan and Christian philosophy in this period, and the Jewish traditionappears in the shape of Philo of Alexandria. Ancient science is also considered, with chapters on ancient medicine and the interaction between philosophy and astronomy. Considerable attention is paid also tothe wider historical context, for instance by looking at the ascetic movement in Christianity and how it drew on ideas from Hellenic philosophy. From the counter-cultural witticisms of Diogenes the Cynic to the subtle skepticism of Sextus Empiricus, from the irreverent atheism of the Epicureans to the ambitious metaphysical speculation of Neoplatonism, from the ethical teachings of Marcus Aurelius to the political philosophy of Augustine, the book gathers together all aspects of later ancientthought in an accessible and entertaining way.

The Primacy of the Political

A History of Political Thought from the Greeks to the French and American Revolutions

Author: Dick Howard

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231509758

Category: Political Science

Page: 416

View: 1853

The conflict between politics and antipolitics has replayed throughout Western history and philosophical thought. From the beginning, Plato's quest for absolute certainty led him to denounce democracy, an anti-political position challenged by Aristotle. In his wide-ranging narrative, Dick Howard puts this dilemma into fresh perspective, proving our contemporary political problems are not as unique as we think. Howard begins with democracy in ancient Greece and the rise and fall of republican politics in Rome. In the wake of Rome's collapse, political thought searched for a new medium, and the conflict between politics and antipolitics reemerged through the contrasting theories of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas. During the Renaissance and Reformation, the emergence of the modern individual again transformed the terrain of the political. Even so, politics vs. antipolitics dominated the period, frustrating even Machiavelli, who sought to reconceptualize the nature of political thought. Hobbes and Locke, theorists of the social contract, then reenacted the conflict, which Rousseau sought (in vain) to overcome. Adam Smith and the growth of modern economic liberalism, the radicalism of the French revolution, and the conservative reaction of Edmund Burke subsequently marked the triumph of antipolitics, while the American Revolution momentarily offered the potential for a renewal of politics. Taken together, these historical examples, viewed through the prism of philosophy, reveal the roots of today's political climate and the trajectory of battles yet to come.

Sympathy

A History

Author: Eric Schliesser

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190273291

Category: Philosophy

Page: 464

View: 9117

Our modern-day word for sympathy is derived from the classical Greek word for fellow-feeling. Both in the vernacular as well as in the various specialist literatures within philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, economics, and history, "sympathy" and "empathy" are routinely conflated. In practice, they are also used to refer to a large variety of complex, all-too-familiar social phenomena: for example, simultaneous yawning or the giggles. Moreover, sympathy is invoked to address problems associated with social dislocation and political conflict. It is, then, turned into a vehicle toward generating harmony among otherwise isolated individuals and a way for them to fit into a larger whole, be it society and the universe. This volume offers a historical overview of some of the most significant attempts to come to grips with sympathy in Western thought from Plato to experimental economics. The contributors are leading scholars in philosophy, classics, history, economics, comparative literature, and political science. Sympathy is originally developed in Stoic thought. It was also taken up by Plotinus and Galen. There are original contributed chapters on each of these historical moments. Use for the concept was re-discovered in the Renaissance. And the volume has original chapters not just on medical and philosophical Renaissance interest in sympathy, but also on the role of antipathy in Shakespeare and the significance of sympathy in music theory. Inspired by the influence of Spinoza, sympathy plays a central role in the great moral psychologies of, say, Anne Conway, Leibniz, Hume, Adam Smith, and Sophie De Grouchy during the eighteenth century. The volume offers an introduction to key background concepts that are often overlooked in many of the most important philosophies of the early modern period. About a century ago the idea of Einf?hlung (or empathy) was developed in theoretical philosophy, then applied in practical philosophy and the newly emerging scientific disciplines of psychology. Moreover, recent economists have rediscovered sympathy in part experimentally and, in part by careful re-reading of the classics of the field.

The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory

Author: John S. Dryzek,Bonnie Honig,Anne Phillips

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199548439

Category: Philosophy

Page: 883

View: 9362

Oxford Handbooks of Political Science are the essential guide to the state of political science today. With engaging contributions from 51 major international scholars, the Oxford Handbook of Political Theory provides the key point of reference for anyone working in political theory and beyond.

Was Athens a democracy?

popular rule, liberty and equality in ancient and modern political thought

Author: Mogens Herman Hansen

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Athens (Greece)

Page: 47

View: 411

Christianity

The First Three Thousand Years

Author: Diarmaid MacCulloch

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101189993

Category: Religion

Page: 1216

View: 1425

The New York Times bestseller and definitive history of Christianity for our time—from the award-winning author of The Reformation and Silence A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity goes back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and encompasses the globe. It captures the major turning points in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox history and fills in often neglected accounts of conversion and confrontation in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. MacCulloch introduces us to monks and crusaders, heretics and reformers, popes and abolitionists, and discover Christianity's essential role in shaping human history and the intimate lives of men and women. And he uncovers the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the surprising beliefs of the founding fathers, the rise of the Evangelical movement and of Pentecostalism, and the recent crises within the Catholic Church. Bursting with original insights and a great pleasure to read, this monumental religious history will not soon be surpassed.