By Michael Mayerfield Bell

How religion, the flora and fauna, and group offers complementary paths for major a superb life

People have lengthy seemed to nature and the divine as paths to the nice. during this panoramic meditation at the harmonious lifestyles, Michael Mayerfeld Bell strains how those paths got here to be obvious as break free human methods, and the way a lot of today’s conflicts will be traced again hundreds of thousands of years to this old divide.

Taking readers on a spellbinding trip via historical past and around the globe, Bell starts off with the pagan view, which sees nature and the divine as entangled with the human—and now not unavoidably solid. however the emergence of city societies gave upward push to new ethical issues concerning the political personality of human lifestyles. Wealth and inequality grew, and concrete humans sought to justify their passions. within the face of such issues, nature and the divine got here to be partitioned from the human, and for this reason noticeable to be good—but in addition they grew to become absolute and divisive.

Bell charts the unfolding of this new ethical mind's eye within the upward push of Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Jainism, and plenty of different traditions that emerged with bourgeois existence. He follows advancements in ethical inspiration, from the religions of the traditional Sumerians, Greeks, and Hebrews to the technological know-how and environmentalism of this present day, alongside the way in which vacationing with modern indigenous humans in South Africa, Costa Rica, and the U.S.. City of the Good urges us to include the plurality of our traditions—from the pagan to the bourgeois—and to protect opposed to absolutism and stay open to distinction and its unending creativity.

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City of the Good: Nature, Religion, and the Ancient Search for What Is Right by Michael Mayerfield Bell


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