World Literature

World Literature - proximity • Among settled cultures who...

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The Axial Age -- 800 BCE 200 BCE A Pivotal Era Term “ axial age ” was coined by historian Karl Jaspers to designate a worldwide shift in the focus of religion away from “cosmic maintenance” to more complex, abstract ideas cosmic maintenance = concept that the function of religious practice is to persuade gods to assist with weather, crops, livestock, fertility, health to the benefit of human beings Ritual was the primary religious activity in these older religions ritual = ceremonies performed by shamans or priests to bring about the cooperation of the gods 800 BCE 200 BCE Within the 600 years of the axial age, new ideas arise in Western and Eastern cultural centers Discussion arises independently During times of civil stress (perhaps) due to pressures of larger population living in close
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Unformatted text preview: proximity • Among settled cultures who had more time to pursue religious and cultural questions • Axial age thinkers are concerned with death, afterlife, moral responsibility, salvation, the nature of good and evil Axial Age Thinkers and Philosophies • Greece (8 th – 4 th ) – Homer – Socrates – Plato – Aristotle • China (6 th – 5 th ) – Confucius – Lao-tze (Daoism) • India (6 th – 5 th ) – Buddha – Mahavira (Jainism) • Palestine (7 th – 5 th ) – The Prophets Jesus and Mohammed • Both are born and teach AFTER the Axial Age: – Jesus (1 st century CE) – Mohammed (7 th century CE)...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2011 for the course ENGL 2220 taught by Professor Gilbreath during the Spring '08 term at North Texas.

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World Literature - proximity • Among settled cultures who...

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