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Why Europe? Advantages of Division 1. Outline Monotheism in history – Different historical contexts Why Europe? – Rise of capitalism in Europe 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Europe? Advantages of Division 1. Outline Monotheism in history – Different historical contexts Why Europe? – Rise of capitalism in Europe 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Europe? Advantages of Division 1

2 Outline Monotheism in history – Different historical contexts Why Europe? – Rise of capitalism in Europe 2

3 Religion in history and rise of Monotheism 1) Animism as kinship, harmony with nature 2) Animistic/polytheistic divisions 3) Monotheism 3

4 Egypt and Persia Animistic Monotheism As unifying adaptation to emergence of larger empire by animistic or semi-animistic, bronze-age societies – Akhnaton (Egypt) – Zoroaster (Persia) 4

5 Greece: Plato’s Philosophical Monotheism of the Republic Plato’s “Philosophical monotheism”: Adaptation to republican freedom of the city- state – Unity of polis through love of transcendent Beauty, Truth, Goodness: manifested in everything – Against egotism (separatism of individuals, cultures) Freedom of republic: we make our own lives by our choices, before and after birth – Reflects Legal State – transcending natural relations of kinship 5

6 Roman Empire 1: Stoic Monotheism of Empire Response to loss of the freedom of the republic with the rise of the Roman Empire Transcendence of God, who governs external reality – reflecting the power on earth of the Emperor Internal freedom of mind: – we are in control of our attitudes to events – But we are powerless before the events themselves 6

7 China: Unity of Heaven and Earth Unity of humanity within the natural world reflecting neo-kinship and rice-based agriculture of bronze age state – The individual has the power to promote the welfare of life as a whole – not the powerlessness of Stoicism – Confucius: Extend kinship love (jen) from family to all humanity Reflects social conditions of Chinese civilization – Lao Tzu: The Dao as oneness of heaven and earth that the sage sees within all divisions Reflects natural conditions of Chinese civilization 7

8 India: Adaptation to diversity Unity in diversity: Hinduism, Buddhism – Immanence of the divine in neo-kinship society in Hindu philosophy/religion (panentheism) The Buddha Nature within each of us – But also human freedom: we make our own lives through karma and reincarnation Reflecting early iron-age republics replaced by feudal states – And diversity Jati castes Multiplicity of gods, avatars … 8

9 Roman Empire 2: Christianity (A and B) A) Universal spiritual community as alternative to heartless political rule of Roman Empire – Jesus teaches “Our Father,” the Kingdom of Heaven is within each individual; parable of the mustard seed – We can change the world for the better through creating loving communities Versus inwardness, powerlessness, of Roman Stoicism B) Christianity as State Religion of Roman Empire – Worship of Jesus as God-man, Savior – Hierarchical Church – Obedience, powerlessness, otherworldly emphasis 9

10 Middle East: Judaism and Islam Transcendence of God in Middle Eastern religions of Judaism and Islam Kinship and law --Jewish religion of one God impedes external assimilation to agricultural states – Legal systems emphasized to cement unity of kinship groups --Islam in Arabia: one God overcomes internal division, wars between tribes – Expressed in emphasis on law and state 10

11 Religion on war and peace Recall: 4 stages in history of particular religions 1) Before monotheism: polytheistic religions exacerbate wars 2) Monotheism of revolutionary founders in general rejects divisions of humanity over the gods – But in different ways because of different historical contexts 11

12 3) Established historical monotheistic religions tend to recreate divisions – by emphasizing their particular features (reflecting historical contexts) 4) Reforms, reconciliations: – Return to teachings of founders by reformers – Recall “A Common Word between Us and You” 12

13 Jen and Li Recall Confucius: – Jen, the inner spirit, is central, absolute; – li, the outer behavior, is secondary, relative Repeated variously by – Plato, – Krishna, – Buddha, – Jesus, – Mohammad 13

14 Today’s problem Emerging global humanity – U theory of history – Or continuance of L theory ?? Religions that emphasize the differences – The relative aspect due to historical conditions – Leads to danger of wars 14

15 Solution to problem Stress the core teachings of all major religions and philosophies: – human unity through oneness of “Spirit” – God, The Tao, Brahman, Buddha nature, Allah, etc. Need to emphasize the core idea of Jen – Spirit of the all-human family But also respect the different historical paths— – External aspect of “Li” 15

16 Unity of Mystical Teachings Chinese Taoists Jewish Kabala Hindu Yoga Buddhist Nirvana--Enlightenment Muslim Sufi mystics – Rumi’s Path of Love Christian mystics -- e.g. Meister Eckhart 16

17 Basic lessons of mystics Moral message and teachings are only preliminary -- not the core teaching of religion Human beings are capable of much more than ordinary joys and sorrows: bliss of existence Need to “Awaken” to our true nature and possibilities = transformation of the personality, mental and physical abilities Not in the next life, but here and now 17

18 Major regions of “Old World” in 1500 Chinese empire Islam – Mughal Empire in India (Islamic) – Savafid Empire in Persia (Islamic) – Ottoman Empire in Asia Minor (Islamic) – Songhai Empire in Africa (Islamic) Europe: collection of small squabbling states Prediction of future at this time?? Why Europe? 18

19 Key to European Expansion after 1500 Dynamic, expansive system of capitalism first emerges in Europe Three components of capitalism: – Production for market predominates over subsistence production (as in Rome) – Workers are separated from tools, means of subsistence, social bonds –> must sell their labor as separate individuals – Merchants become capitalists – control not only exchange, but also production; hire workers. 19

20 Why not China? Example of China’s Admiral Zheng He – 1405: 162 ships, 30,000 crew – 7 successful missions: to coast of Africa – Emperor Yongle halts voyages; stops international trade Main Issue: not why, but how was it possible? – Powerful centralized agricultural states restrict growth of merchant power – How can capitalism emerge in centralized agricultural states? 20

21 Why Not Islam? Muslim trading system dominated large parts of world – connecting East and West Islamic scholars developed rational sciences of ancient Greece and Rome Muhammad was a merchant – Though critical of “free market” – Muslim state should regulate money-lending: laws against usury But Medieval Europe is even more negative to financial capitalism 21

22 Case of Astronomy Ottoman Empire – 1577 Ottoman Sultan Murad III sponsors advanced astronomical observatory – Plague epidemic interpreted by Ulama as sign of displeasure of Allah – and so the observatory is dismantled Lesson: powerful centralized agricultural states can restrict growth of science too 22

23 European divisions Europe – Galileo’s ( ) defense of Copernican astronomy is banned by the Catholic Church – In Germany, Protestant scientist Kepler continues Galileo’s studies > Political and religious divisions favor continuation of science (and emergence of capitalism) 23

24 Background to Capitalism Feudal division of Medieval Europe Rise of new de-centralized states dominated by feudal landowners Wars between rival political powers Merchants take advantage of divisions – Merchants take political power in tiny state of Netherlands – Alliance with Kings against feudal lords in England 24

25 Three Feudal States Europe – develops capitalism – Thanks to the political and religious divisions of Europe – Due to the feudal social structure of Europe India – fails to develop capitalism – why? Japan – first and only non-European state to develop capitalism independently 25

26 Feudal India and Christian Europe “Some students of Indian social structures have asked why the business guilds never seem to have made an attempt to gain direct control of the government in India as they did in medieval Europe.” Spodek 248 = India as comparable civilization to medieval Europe 26

27 Similarities of Religion in India and Europe Hindu trinity, avatars, bhakti devotion to “gods” Christian trinity, incarnation of the Son of God, personal devotions the Mother of God, to the saints Strategies of conversion: – Hinduism: incorporate, transform preexisting animist/polytheist beliefs – Christianity: incorporate, transform preexisting animist/beliefs – Why is Christmas on December 25 th ? Political diversity, cultural unity – Supplied by Hinduism, the Catholic Church 27

28 Spodek’s reply “The answer is not entirely clear but caste distinctions designated some people for government and military careers, others for business, separating those who were permitted to take up the bow and the sword in using force to gain government control from those who could only wield influence through wealth. In Europe businessmen both armed themselves and hired troops; in India, it seems, they did neither. They sought to influence the warrior caste, but not by taking up arms against them.” (248- 9) 28


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