05 September 2015

Toynbee the Historian and the Seeker

Toynbee was a seeker of spiritual truth. I am not sure that all historians, the good ones anyway, aren't. We understand the small truth of accuracy and if we admit it we understand that this is our best shot at The Truth. We always fail, but as De Gaulle said while trailing through the ruins of Stalingrad, "The Germans! To have come so far!"

Here is Toynbee claiming that revolutionaries, even the bloodiest of them, may be one step from God.

After 'the City of the Sun' has shown itself to have been a 'City of Destruction', the alien light in which it was momentarily and bewilderingly appareled can still be seen shining above the smoking ruins and the blood-soaked sod; and then at last this glory can be recognized for what it is. It is the celestial light that streams from the mansions of the City of God.
Study of History, 6:241.

Needless to say Toynbee, who saw both the Nazis and the Soviets in full cry, would be appalled by society in the year of our Lord 2011. As would Aristonicus, or Spartacus, or Wat Tyler. Or, for that matter, the Man Jesus.

But I could be wrong.


At 05 September, 2015 20:58, Blogger Clemens said...

This is a very old post I wrote years ago and left on my little NEO typewriter. All I can tell is that I had made it through vol. 6 of A Study of History. I will pick up from there now that I am to be retired soon.


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