The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization

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9780691124131: The Terror of History: On the Uncertainties of Life in Western Civilization
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This book reflects on Western humanity's efforts to escape from history and its terrors--from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Drawing on historical episodes ranging from antiquity to the recent past, and combining them with literary examples and personal reflections, Teofilo Ruiz explores the embrace of religious experiences, the pursuit of worldly success and pleasures, and the quest for beauty and knowledge as three primary responses to the individual and collective nightmares of history. The result is a profound meditation on how men and women in Western society sought (and still seek) to make meaning of the world and its disturbing history.


In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, The Terror of History takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. "Religion and the World to Come" examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. "The World of Matter and the Senses" considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, "The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge" looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship.


Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, The Terror of History is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history.

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"This is a beautifully written and deeply personal meditation on the horrors of Western history. A senior historian with an existential sensibility, Ruiz is keenly attuned to the terrors lurking in our awareness of time's relentless passing. Reflecting on our individual and collective reactions to disaster, disease, war, and death, Ruiz explores the different ways humans respond to the abysses of history by finding or creating meaning.The Terror of History is an enlightening and heartfelt work."--Iain Thomson, University of New Mexico


"Very few books dig so deeply into the feelings and experiences that really drive historians. Still less do they explore how events in distant ages, in seemingly distant cultures, can touch the modern reader.The Terror of History does this. Ruiz's voice is very much that of a teacher and scholar committed to the exploration of the human condition. This is a rich book."--Peter Brown, Princeton University


"This is a fascinating and very special book."--Jesús Rodríguez-Velasco, Columbia University


About the Author:

Teofilo F. Ruiz is Distinguished Professor of History and of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA. His many books include Spain's Centuries of Crisis and From Heaven to Earth. In 2007, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and selected as one of UCLA's Distinguished Teachers.

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Teofilo F. Ruiz
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2011)
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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book reflects on Western humanity s efforts to escape from history and its terrors--from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Drawing on historical episodes ranging from antiquity to the recent past, and combining them with literary examples and personal reflections, Teofilo Ruiz explores the embrace of religious experiences, the pursuit of worldly success and pleasures, and the quest for beauty and knowledge as three primary responses to the individual and collective nightmares of history. The result is a profound meditation on how men and women in Western society sought (and still seek) to make meaning of the world and its disturbing history. In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, The Terror of History takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. Religion and the World to Come examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. The World of Matter and the Senses considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship. Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, The Terror of History is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691124131

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book reflects on Western humanity s efforts to escape from history and its terrors--from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Drawing on historical episodes ranging from antiquity to the recent past, and combining them with literary examples and personal reflections, Teofilo Ruiz explores the embrace of religious experiences, the pursuit of worldly success and pleasures, and the quest for beauty and knowledge as three primary responses to the individual and collective nightmares of history. The result is a profound meditation on how men and women in Western society sought (and still seek) to make meaning of the world and its disturbing history. In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, The Terror of History takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. Religion and the World to Come examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. The World of Matter and the Senses considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship. Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, The Terror of History is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history. Seller Inventory # AAH9780691124131

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This book reflects on Western humanity s efforts to escape from history and its terrors--from the existential condition and natural disasters to the endless succession of wars and other man-made catastrophes. Drawing on historical episodes ranging from antiquity to the recent past, and combining them with literary examples and personal reflections, Teofilo Ruiz explores the embrace of religious experiences, the pursuit of worldly success and pleasures, and the quest for beauty and knowledge as three primary responses to the individual and collective nightmares of history. The result is a profound meditation on how men and women in Western society sought (and still seek) to make meaning of the world and its disturbing history. In chapters that range widely across Western history and culture, The Terror of History takes up religion, the material world, and the world of art and knowledge. Religion and the World to Come examines orthodox and heterodox forms of spirituality, apocalyptic movements, mysticism, supernatural beliefs, and many forms of esotericism, including magic, alchemy, astrology, and witchcraft. The World of Matter and the Senses considers material riches, festivals and carnivals, sports, sex, and utopian communities. Finally, The Lure of Beauty and Knowledge looks at cultural productions of all sorts, from art to scholarship. Combining astonishing historical breadth with a personal and accessible narrative style, The Terror of History is a moving testimony to the incredibly diverse ways humans have sought to cope with their frightening history. Seller Inventory # BTE9780691124131

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