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Smiling Through the Cultural CatastropheToward the Revival of Higher Education$
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Jeffrey Hart

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300087048

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300087048.001.0001

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Athens and Jerusalem

Athens and Jerusalem

(p.3) Chapter One Athens and Jerusalem
Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe

Jeffrey Hart

Yale University Press

This chapter looks at the structure of the Western mind and the civilization it produced by examining the creative tension between Athens and Jerusalem, particularly the fundamental importance that tension had on Western civilization. It looks at fundamental works for Athens and Jerusalem—the Iliad and Exodus—and recognizes that the consequences of the interaction between these two cities have been decisive for the character of Western civilization. Two famous cities, and two distinctive ways of looking at the world developed in each, the Athens–Jerusalem paradigm is viewed for all its differences, similarities, and influences. In a sense, they are metaphors referring to philosophy/science and to the disciplined insights of Scripture. In effect, the chapter looks at how each one functions and develops in terms of its philosophy and science, and how each one's culture seeped into and influenced the other.

Keywords:   Western mind, creative tension, Athens–Jerusalem paradigm, Iliad, Exodus, Western civilization

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