2000 Years and Beyond brings together some of the most eminent thinkers of our time - specialists in philosophy, theology, anthropology and cultural theory. In a horizon-scanning work, they look backwards and forwards to explore what links us to the matrix of the Judaeo-Christian tradition from which Western cultural identity has evolved.
Their plural reflections raise searching questions about how we move from past to future - and about who 'we' are. What do the catastrophes of the twentieth century signify for hopes of progress? Can post - Enlightment humanism and its notion of human nature survive without faith? If the 'numinous magic global capitalism' is our own giant shadow cast abroad, does that shadow offer hope enough of a communal future? Has the modern, secularized West now outgrown its originating faith matrix?
Often controversial and sometimes visionary, these seven new essays ask: how do we tell - and rewrite - the story of the Common Era? Introduced by Paul Gifford, and discussed in a lively dialogic conclusion, they add their distinctive voices to a debate of profound and urgent topicality.
Table of Contents
1. Volume introduction. 2000 Years: looking backwards and forwards Editors 2. Progress and Abyss: remembering the future in the modern world J. Moltmann, University of Tübingen 3. Liberalism and value-pluralism: a post-Enlightenment view J. Gray, LSE 4. History and the Representation of the Past P. Ricoeur, Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris 5. The Future of Human Nature R. Schacht, University of Illinois 6. Sacrifice in archaic culture, in Judaism and in Christianity René Girard, Stanford, California 7. 'Second Comings:Neo-Protestant Ethics and Millennial Capitalism in Africa and elsewhere' J and J Comaroff, Chicago 8. Theology and the postmodern mind A.Thiselton, University of Nottingham 9. Conclusion: Beyond 2000 Years _ _
Paul Gifford is Buchanan Professor of French and Director of the Institute of European Cultural Identity Studies at the University of St Andrews. His publications inclide Reading Paul Valéry: Universe in Mind (Cambridge, 1999) and Subject Matters: Subject and Self in French Literature from Descartes to the Present (Rodopi, 1999). David Archard, Trevor A. Hart and Nigel Rapport all teach at the University of St Andrews.
'This is a fascinating series of lectures given at St Andrews University, circling around the theme of whether the Christian era is over, and what might happen next ... Each lecture is short and readabe, and provides an excellent example of the author's thought.' - Keith Ward, Church Times
' ... sparkles with intellectual power and eloquence.' - The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute