Ideological Roots of Our Eco-Catastrophe
In Making Wonderful, Martin M. Tweedale tells how an ideology arose in the West that energized the economic expansion that has led to ecological disaster. He takes us back to the rise of cities and autocratic rulers, and analyzes how respect for custom and tradition gave way to the dominance of top-down rational planning and organization. Then came a highly attractive myth of an eventual future in which all of humankind's material and spiritual ills would be banished and life "made wonderful." Originating in Zoroastrianism and, through Jewish apocalyptic works, flowing into early Christianity, this belief produced utopian ideologies that set the West apart from the other civilizations of the old world. Tweedale shows how this thinking became popular among Western elites in the early modern period and eventually resulted in the distinctively Western doctrine of progress, an idea that once coupled with a virtually religious faith in the capacity of science and technology to improve human life, released economic expansion from traditional constraints. Exploring sources from philosophy, religion, and the history of ideas, Making Wonderful is for all readers who are intellectually curious about the roots of our eco-catastrophe.
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