From the Axial Age to the Moral Revolution: John Stuart-Glennie, Karl Jaspers, and a New Understanding of the Idea

New York, NY, USA: Palgrave Macmillan (2014)
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The revolutionary outbreak in a variety of civilizations centered around 600 B.C.E., a period in which the great world religions as well as philosophy emerged, from Hebrew scriptures and the teachings of Buddha to the works of Greek and Chinese philosophers, has been named the Axial Age by Karl Jaspers. Yet 75 years earlier, in 1873, unknown to Jaspers and still unknown to the world, John Stuart Stuart-Glennie elaborated a fully developed and more nuanced theory of what he termed The Moral Revolution to characterize the period. This book also brings to light the previously undiscussed ideas of D. H. Lawrence on the phenomenon from 20 years before Jaspers, the seldom mentioned contributions of Lewis Mumford, and proposes a new context for understanding the phenomenon. Halton rewrites the history of this fascinating theory and opens new ways of conceiving the meaning of The Moral Revolution for today.

Author's Profile

Eugene Halton
University of Notre Dame


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