Mircea Eliade based his theory of man in history on the claim that "archaic man" - by which he means man within "traditional" societies - has a characteristic ontology or theory of what it means for realities within his world to be "real." Building on the insight that the limited being of our universe must be dependent for its being on a divine "ground" of being, archaic man expresses this ontological vision in mythic form, giving expression to the view that to be real is to be an earthly expression of a divine or heavenly archetype. Only by sharing in or being an expression of this archetypal divine or heavenly reality does earthly reality become truly "real" and charged with meaning. There is, of course, also a moral component in this: for man to live a truly human life he must seek to conform himself to this divine pattern of humanity.
this blog develops the idea that a theory of man in history can be worked out around the theme that man's self expression in culture and society is motivated by the desire to find meaning in man's existence. i proceed by summarizing seminal works that provide insights into the dynamics of this process, with the view that the culmination of this exploration was reached with god's self revelation in jesus. i'll hopefully also explore the developments that followed this event.
Monday, October 29, 2007
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