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By David Archard, Trevor A. Hart, Visit Amazon's Nigel Rapport Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Nigel Rapport, , Paul Gifford

2000 Years and past brings jointly probably the most eminent thinkers of our time - experts in philosophy, theology, anthropology and cultural thought. In a horizon-scanning paintings, they appear forwards and backwards to discover what hyperlinks us to the matrix of the Judaeo-Christian culture from which Western cultural id has evolved.Their plural reflections bring up looking out questions about how we circulate from earlier to destiny - and approximately who 'we' are. What do the catastrophes of the 20 th century characterize for hopes of growth? Can publish - Enlightment humanism and its inspiration of human nature live on with no religion? If the 'numinous magic worldwide capitalism' is our personal enormous shadow forged in another country, does that shadow provide desire sufficient of a communal destiny? Has the fashionable, secularized West now outgrown its originating religion matrix? usually debatable and occasionally visionary, those seven new essays ask: how can we inform - and rewrite - the tale of the typical period? brought via Paul Gifford, and mentioned in a full of life dialogic end, they upload their specific voices to a debate of profound and pressing topicality.

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And then the past really does become ‘the prologue to the future’, and successive ages can be divided into stages or steps forward in the direction of time’s completion. 13 We come across them in the Jewish messianism of Sabbatai Zwi, in Puritan apocalypti20 progress and abyss cism at the time of Oliver Cromwell, in Dutch ‘prophetic theology’, and in the expectations of ‘better times in the future’ which appear at the beginning of German pietism, with Amos Comenius, Philip Jakob Spener and the Württemberg theologians Johann Albrecht Bengel and Friedrich Ötinger.

What we have suffered in the 24 progress and abyss twentieth century, and are still suffering, is an apocalypse without hope, extermination without justification, pure pleasure in torture, rape and murder. The ‘Decline of the West’ (Spengler’s title) was fuelled in Europe by the drive for self-destruction. The age that began in 1914 and whose end we do not know – perhaps it ended with the end of the East–West conflict in 1989 – became what W. H. Auden called ‘the age of anxiety’. The Second World War of 1939–45 continued the modern world’s nihilistic work of annihilation.

Whether we look upon the new millennium in exuberant hope or with scepticism, we need to be reconciled with the past of the twentieth century, so that for us that century can become the past, and its catastrophes do not close in on us again. The future of Christian hope The raising of the dead: hope for those who have gone Before I go into the links with the secular hopes for the nineteenth century in the light of the twentieth, I should like to come back again to Walter Benjamin’s ‘angel of history’.

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