From World Religions to Axial Civilizations and Beyond
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Essays in the field of comparative world religions and corresponding axial civilizations.
The post–World War II idea of the Axial Age by Karl Jaspers, and as elaborated into the sociology of axial civilizations by S. N. Eisenstadt in the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, continues to be the subject of intense scholarly debate. Examples of this can be found in recent works of Hans Joas and Jürgen Habermas. In From World Religions to Axial Civilizations and Beyond, an internationally distinguished group of scholars discuss, advance, and criticize the Jaspers-Eisenstadt thesis, and go beyond it by bringing in the critical influence of Max Weber's sociology of world religions and by exploring intercivilizational encounters in key world regions. The essays within this volume are of unusual interest for their original analysis of relatively neglected civilizational zones, especially Islam and the Islamicate civilization and the Byzantine civilization, and its continuation in Orthodox Russia.
Saïd Amir Arjomand is Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Stony Book University, State University of New York. Stephen Kalberg is Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Boston University.