ERIC Number: ED295852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct-2
The Central Problem of Intellectual History.
Wright, H. Curtis
Western civilization constitutes a perennial conflict of spiritualities derived from comprehensive world views that are contradictory and irreconcilable. These world views are the vertical view of Judeo-Christian supernaturalism, and the horizontal view of Greco-Roman naturalism. The Judeo-Christian view holds that reality includes and transcends the natural order, while the Greco-Roman naturalism holds that all reality is included within the natural order. James Thrower states that the argument is between a religious and non-religious response to reality. Greek culture moved from religion through mythology to philosophy where it split into (1) matter philosophy or materialism, the basis of the natural and physical sciences; and (2) form philosophy or idealism, which evolved from materialism and later created humanistic scholarship. The axiomatic assumptions underlying naturalism have not been challenged while those axioms underlying supernaturalism have been challenged. Christian scholars must be thoroughly familiar with the Greco-Roman tradition in order to examine its underlying axioms. There has not been a single comprehensive history of the horizontal tradition, although Franklin L. Baumer has recently launched an effort to trace the modern development of the horizontal tradition. The religious dilemma of modern man cannot be solved by utilitarian arguments. (SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society of Educators and Scholars (12th, Charleston, IL, October 2, 1987).