The Future of Our Past

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Book Details

Author  H. J. Blackham
Publisher  Prometheus Books
Publication Date   February 1, 1996
ISBN  1573920428
Pages  411

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History has become focused on the future; the age of the information superhighway finds us always looking to the next horizon. But will there be a future for humanity? Considering the dire threats from environmental degradation, nuclear proliferation, and vicious ethnic rivalries, one may wonder what sort of futureif anyis in store for humankind. Eminent scholar H.J. Blackham tells us our future, the outcome of our history, has already been mapped out. If we want to know where we're going, we need to embrace where we've been. The Western world must take the time to understand, appreciate, and learn from its rich past in order to move toward its future.

The Future of Our Past is a powerful thematic essay that follows the course of Western history into the postreligious present in terms of cultural inheritance and legacy. Pagan Greece, Yahweh's Judea, and Christian Rome are the three universal models that shaped the past and continue to shape the present. From the Renaissance through the Enlightenment and on into the modern industrial period, the West has evolved in often tumultuous ways. As science, politics, and economics grew and developed, they clashed with and finally broke away from the established religious viewpoint.

What does the secular world offer us as a new vision of humanity? What, if any, hope can be found in the many upheavals in today's world? Blackham restores the idea that civilization is a precious inheritance of the past in which we all share. His valuable observations help us to appreciate our responsibility to preserve this legacy and pass it on to future generations.

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