Summary: The Cultures of the West: A History focuses on the ways in which the major ideas and passions of Western culture developed, internally, and how they interacted with the broader world - for good and for ill. The development of such key ideas as religion, science, and philosophy form the centralnarrative of this book.The Cultures of the West stands apart from other textbooks in a variety of ways, the first being thematic unity. What did people think and believe, throughout our history,
about human nature, the right way to live, God, the best forms of government, or the meaning of human life? Rather thanmaintaining a single interpretive stance, author Clifford R. Backman relies upon a consistent set of questions: What did people think and feel throughout the centuries about politics, science, religion, and sex? How did they come to their positions regarding the right way to live? Backman's manyyears of experience in the classroom have informed his approach-students respond to engaging questions more than they are inspired by facts.
Summary: The Cultures of the West: A History focuses on the ways in which the major ideas and passions of Western culture developed, internally, and how they interacted with the broader world - for good and for ill. The development of such key ideas as religion, science, and philosophy form the centralnarrative of this book.The Cultures of the West stands apart from other textbooks in a variety of ways, the first being thematic unity. What did people think and believe, throughout our history, about human nature, the right way to live, God, the best forms of government, or the meaning of human life? Rather thanmaintaining a single interpretive stance, author Clifford R. Backman relies upon a consistent set of questions: What did people think and feel throughout the centuries about politics, science, religion, and sex? How did they come to their positions regarding the right way to live? Backman's manyyears of experience in the classroom have informed his approach-students respond to engaging questions more than they are inspired by facts. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:13 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Oxford University Press Published: 12/27/2012 International: No
View Table of Contents
1. Water and Soil, Stone and Metal, 10,000 BCE - 2100 BCE The Tigris and the Euphrates Early Sumer: Kings and Warriors, Priests and Scribes The Idea of Empire Mesopotamian Life: Cities and Slaves, Letters and Numbers Religion and Myth: The Great Above and Great Below Ancient Egypt Social Strata in Egypt The Kingdom of the Dead 2. Law-Givers, Evil Emperors, and Dangerous Gods, 2100 BCE - 486 BCE Old Babylon Middle Kingdom Egypt The New Kingdom Empire The Indo-European Assault The Age of Iron Begins, ca. 1200 BCE Persia and the Religion of Fire 3. The Chosen People, 1200 BCE - 538 BCE A Great Nation The Bible and History The Land of Canaan Dreams of a Golden Age Women and the Law Prophets and Prophecy Priests and Rabbis A Genius for Reinvention 4. Greeks and Persians, 2000 BCE - 479 BCE From Chaos to Tragedy The Mycenaean World: Heroes and Kings The End of an Age and Mythic Ancestors Colonists, Hoplites, and Tyrants A Cult of Masculinity Sparta: The Militarization of the Citizenry Miletus: A Merchant Oligarchy and the First Philosophers Athenian democracy The Persian Wars 5. Hellenism and Second Temple Judaism, 499 BCE - 192 BCE The Classical Age Women, Children, and Slaves The Polis; Ritual and Restraint Civilized Pursuits: Epic and Lyric Poetry The Birth of Tragedy The Peloponnesian Disaster Medicine as Natural Law: Hippocrates Mathematical Ordering and Sophistry Socrates and the Meaningful Life Plato and Ideal Forms Aristotle and the Pursuit of Happiness Alexander the Great A Mongrel but Magnificent World Second Temple Jews and Judaism The Maccabaean Revolt 6. The Empire of the Sea: Rome, 753 BCE - 180 CE Links to a Heroic Age Republic, Property, and Family The Republic of Virtue Size Matters Can the Republic Be Saved? The Golden Age: The Augustan Era The Sea, The Sea Roman Lives and Values The ''Five Good Emperors'' 7. Paganisms and Christianities, 40 BCE - 305 CE The Jesus Mystery A Crisis in Tradition Ministry and Movement What Happened to His Disciples? Christianities Everywhere Romans in Pursuit Pagan Vitality Stoicism and Neoplatonism 8. The Early Middle Ages, 306 CE - 750 CE The Imperial Crisis Imperial Decline: Rome's Overreach Martyrdom and empire A Christian Emperor and a Christian Church The Rise of ''New Rome'' ''The Age of Ignorance'' The Islamic Revelation From Preacher to Conqueror Compulsion or Conversion? Classical Traditions and Western Expansion Barbarian Kings and Scholar-Monks Divided Estates and Kingdoms The Body as Money and Women as Property Christian Paganism Pockets of Intellectual Life 9. Reform and Renewal, 750-1258 Two Palace Coups The Carolingian Ascent Charlemagne Imperial Coronation Carolingian Collapse The Islamic Empire Sunnis and Shi'a The Qur'an and the Philosophers The Splintering of the Caliphate The Reinvention of Western Europe Mediterranean Cities The Reinvention of the Church The Crusades But Not a War Against Islam Parliaments and the Mamluk Empire Judaism Reformed, Renewed, and Reviled 10. Worlds Brought Down, 1258-1453 Late Medieval Europe Scholasticism Mysticism The Guild System The Mendicant Orders Early Representative Government Chivalry The Hundred Years' War The Plague Conquest of the Islamic World In the Wake of the Mongols A New Center for Islam Conservatism and Reaction The Ottoman Turks Persia under the Il-Khans 11. Renaissances and Reformations, 1350-1550 ''I Fixed upon Antiquity'' Classicism, Humanism, and Statecraft The Political and Economic Matrix The Renaissance Achievement The Protestant Renaissance Erasmus: Satirist and Itinerant Scholar Martin Luther: The Gift of Salvation Rebellion against the Church: ''95 Theses'' The Reformation Goes International Scholars and Activists Protestantism without Luther Calvin: Protestantism as Theology The Rebirth of Satire Utopias and Book Burnings Rabelais: The In-house Catholic Attack 12. The Last Crusades, 1492-1648 The New World New Continents and Profits Conquest and Epidemics New Crops and the Enclosure Movement The Patriarchal Family Sexual Morality Enemies Within: Witches and Jews The Jews of the East and West Wars of Religion The Peace of Augsburg and the Edict of Nantes The Church of England The Thirty Years' War Wars of Religion: The Eastern Front The Waning of the Sultanate New Centers of Intellectual Life The Ottomans: From Strife to Warfare 13. Science Breaks Out and Breaks Through, 1500-1700 The Copernican Drama Galileo and the Truth of Numbers The Other Scientific Revolution The Council of Trent, 1546-1563 The Society of Jesus Inquisition and Inquiry The Revolution Broadens The Ethical Costs of Science The Islamic Retreat from Science Thinking about Truth Descartes and the Quest for Truth Newton's Mathematical Principles The Choices for Western Society 14. From Westphalia to Paris: Regimes Old and New, 1648-1789 The Peace of Westphalia: 1648 The Argument for Tyranny The Social Contract Absolute Politics Police States Self-Indulgence with a Purpose Mercantilism and Absolutism Mercantilism and Poverty Domesticating Dynamism: Regulating Culture Decency and Modesty The Birth of Private Life The English Exception Civil War and Restoration Ottoman Might and Islamic Absolutism Safavid Pleasures The End of Order The Slave Trade and Domestic Subjugation The return of uncertainty What Is the Greater West Now?
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