Category Archives: History

Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars: Critical Explorations in the History of Religions

Bruce Lincoln writes in this 2012 book: * This is not a religious book. Rather, it is a book about religion. Insofar as it aspires to truth, said truth is strictly provisional and mundane. * Like all proponents of the … Continue reading

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Subtleties Of Thought

Stephen Turner wrote in 2001: * ‘Presentism’ is a term that covers a multitude of not very well defined sins, but its main meaning is this: texts may be read in a variety of ways, and a text that is … Continue reading

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That Noble Dream: The ‘Objectivity Question’ and the American Historical Profession

Here are some excerpts from this 1988 book: “Historical objectivity” is not a single idea, but rather a sprawling collection of assumptions, attitudes, aspirations, and antipathies. At best it is what the philosopher W. B. Gallie has called an “essentially … Continue reading

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The German Historicist Tradition

Here are some highlights from this 2012 book by Frederic Beiser: * …, historicism undermined the perennial search in Western philosophy to find transcendent justifications for social, political and moral values, i.e., the endeavor to give these values some universal … Continue reading

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Religion and the Rise of Historicism: W. M. L. de Wette, Jacob Burckhardt, and the Theological Origins of Nineteenth-Century Historical Consciousness

Here are some highlights from this 1999 book: * IT is LARGELY TAKEN FOR GRANTED today that a greater historical sense or historical consciousness is a distinguishing feature of modern Western thought. To a large extent, this heightened sensitivity to … Continue reading

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