- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised ed. edition (December 10, 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195050819
- ISBN-13: 978-0195050813
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 5.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Study of History, Vol. 2: Abridgement of Volumes VII-X Revised ed. Edition
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'McNeill's book will be read, and enjoyed, for its own sake. I hope it will revive interest in Toynbee.' The Advertiser, Australia
From the Back Cover
Contained in two volumes, D.C. Somervell's abridgement of Arnold Toynbee's 'A Study of History' preserves the method, atmosphere, texture, and, in many instances, the very words of the original. This volume includes sections on Universal States, Universal Churches, Heroic Ages, Contacts Between Civilizations in Space, Contacts Between Civilizations in Time, Law and Freedom in History, the Prospects of the Western Civilization, and the Conclusion.
Top customer reviews
He wrote, "We have seen that a universal church is apt to come to birth during a Time of Troubles following the breakdown of a civilization and to unfold itself within the political framework of the ensuing universal state. We have seen also... that the principal beneficiaries of the institutions maintained by universal states have been universal churches; and it is therefore not surprising that the champions of a universal state, whose fortunes are on the wane, should dislike the spectacle of a universal church growing within its bosom. The church is therefore likely to be regarded... as a social cancer responsible for the decline in the state." (Pg. 76)
He suggests, "If the foregoing inquiry has convinced us that the churches embodying the higher religions are ... of a spiritually higher order than the species represented by the civilizations, we shall be encouraged to go farther in our experiment of inverting our original assumption that the role of civilizations is dominant in History and the role of churches subordinate." (Pg. 109) He argues, the Papacy never "until galvanized into new life AFTER (and not before) the catastrophe of the Protestant succession, recovered from the moral and religious discredit in which its legalism had involved it. The downfall of both Empire and Papacy cleared the way in the West for the advance of the parochial state." (Pg. 247)
He observes, "the principle of Challenge and Response is the same all the way up and down the scale... Whatever it be, the Challenge is always God's offer of Freedom of choice to human souls." (Pg. 298) Later he adds, "in A.D. 1955 the crucial questions confronting Western Man were all religious." (Pg. 314) He concludes with a personal note: "Why do people study history? The present writer's personal answer would be that an historian, like anyone else who has had the happiness of having an aim in life, has found his vocation in a call from God to 'feel after Him and find Him.'" (Pg. 350)
Toynbee's entire 10-volume work will be seldom read these days; but this excellent abridgement (which was reviewed by, and approved, by Toynbee himself) is a much more "accessible" way of encountering him.