Perspectives From the Past, Essay Example
Perspectives from the Past is a book, which contains various articles from different authors about Western Civilization from the Age of Exploration through to contemporary times. Chapter 13 talks about the Age of Dissent and Division from 1500s to 1600s. One of the articles present in this chapter is the “Spiritual Exercises” by an author named Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The essay is a four part series of prayers and meditation that was designed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. The author wrote the essay to assist Christians to reflect upon their lives as supporters of Jesus Christ through prayers (Ganss 1992). The ultimate purpose of the article was to enable individuals free themselves from earthly, material and temporal attachments in order for them to clearly know the Will of God. The main theme present in this article is religion and the views elaborated in this essay are similar to other articles present in the chapter. St. Ignatius argues that, through the exercises, one adopts a religious lifestyle and refrains from sinning. The presupposition and value of spiritual exercises is that it helps believers be in a deeper relationship with God. To this day, St. Ignatius exercises remain an integral part of the Roman Catholic religious order of Jesuits as well as for Protestants. For example, people incorporate daily prayers into their lives as well as go for meetings with spiritual directors. Although most people do not believe in God, the essay holds some truth to it since many spiritual individuals follow its principles. Compared to other texts, the essay elaborates the different views and opinions of people concerning their belief in God. This also contributes to their relationship and way of living. This is very good for presupposition.
Chapter 14 is about religion, warfare and sovereignty from 1540 to 1660. The “Discovery of Witchcraft” by Reginald Scot is one of the essays tackled in this chapter. The essay is a skeptical analysis of the myth of witchcraft and witches in the sixteenth century. Reginald Scot’s purpose for writing the essay was to demonstrate through reasoning that witchcraft was a fantasy, which gave reason for prosecuting the poor, rabble-rousers, the infirm, travelers and many others. The theme of religion in this essay is not well established as the theme of economy and belief structure. Reginald argued that the church prosecuted elderly landowners after accusing them of witchcraft so as to confiscate their possessions and property. Many individuals especially the Christians believed that witches were horrible sinners who deceived Christians and did not accept the omnipresence of God (Johannsen 2011). In today’s world, witches do not experience stereotyping as people have become more tolerant to them. Scot’s views and beliefs regarding prosecution of accused witchcraft revealed that charlatans fooled many people. Through his presuppositions, the prosecution of witchcraft ended and they were absorbed in the society for they held different beliefs and freedom needs to be enhanced at all times. good The essay regarding witchcrafts, relates to other articles present in the chapter, as they are mostly concerned with the prosecution of different people in the society based on the society’s beliefs.
Chapter 15 focuses on Absolutism and empire from the year 1660 to 1789, and one of the essays present in this chapter is the “Two Treaties of Government” written by John Locke. The essay is a proposed solution to the political upheaval in England and other relevant, modern world countries. Locke laid a foundation to the modern forms of democracy and constitution used in today’s American government. The author wrote the essay with the purpose of explaining to individuals that reasoning in a conflict is the correct moral path. The main theme in this essay is politics as it focuses on civil governments and social societies. Locke argues that the primary reason for joining people together to form societies is for them to protect their property and hence the need for a central authority. Locke presumes that individuals understand the importance of a political body as well as the benefit of adhering to certain standards of behavior. Locke’s views seem to be true as most of his political theories are applied in governments all over the world. For example, modern liberal states base their concept in Locke’s writing. good Compared to other texts, the essay is similar to the rest of the essays in this chapter as they all discuss on politics that are focused on different governments.
Chapter 16 of the book ‘Perspective from the Past’ is about the new science of the seventeenth century. One of the essays in this chapter is by an author named Francis Bacon. The essay titled ‘the Great Instauration’ is a project conceived by the author for the purpose of step by step paradise restoration on earth through the illumination of mankind. Bacon planned his work in imitation of the divine work (the six days of creation) as defined in the Bible. The author’s main purpose was to present, a kind of culmination, on subjects ranging from logic to natural philosophy (The Francis Bacon Research Trust 2010). Bacon’s presupposition was that the great instauration consisted of a cyclic six days of work and the seventh day of rest (Bacon 1996).Through this argument, Bacon identifies life as a cycle itself where each cycle is built upon a previous cycle in order for knowledge and ability to increase steadily. Through the examples provided on each of an individual’s part or stage in the great instauration, many have used them as a source of guidance and inspiration as well as material for getting things going (Bacon 1996). The themes of religion together with belief are well portrayed in this essay. Compared to other essays in this chapter, bacon establishes his arguments more on religion rather than on science and scientific evidence.
The concepts discussed above change from one type to another due to the changes taking place in the environment. The concepts lean on technology and interaction in the society, which relies on relationships existing in the community. From this, it is evident that history is a changing phenomenon that needs embracing in order to fit into the current mode of life. History analysis is important since it spills down to current events occurring in our daily lives. This information is relevant to me because it gives me insight on my ancestral background and sharpens my understanding on how the people of old age lived. This enables me appreciate the effort made by my forefathers in adopting new technology into their lives.
Bacon, Francis. The great instauration Novum organum. Kila, Mont: Kessinger, 1996. Print.
Brophy, James M. Perspectives from the past: primary sources in Western civilizations. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. Print.
George E. and Ganss, S.J. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius: A Translation and Commentary. Chicago: Loyola Press, 1992. Print.
Johannsen, A. L. Skeptic Freethought » Reginald Scot – The Discoveries of Witchcraft. Skeptic Freethought – atheist, agnostic, freethinking, humanist, secular, and skeptical ideas and issues. 2012. Web. 8 Sept. 2012.
Locke, John. Two treaties of government. New York: Legal Classics Library, 1994. Print.
Scot, Reginald. The discovery of witchcraft. Abridged replica of the 1st ed. New York: [John McArdle], 1665. Print.
Time is precious
don’t waste it!