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Prophets and philosophers


Througout history,from the time of Socrates to our own modern age, the humanrace has sought answers to the foundamental questions of life: who are we and why are we here?

Caught between two eternities the vanished past and the unknown future-human being never cease to seek their our legacy of the sciences and the art-the works of the great discoverers and creators the columbuses and Leonardos-but we all remain seekers.Man is the asking animal.

in one of his works,the Welsh poet Dylan thomas recalls his frustration as a boy when he was given a beautiful book at Christmas that told him everything about the wasp but" why".All the knowledge in our universities and all the treasures in our museums do not satisfy us.

Western culture has witnessed at least three grand historical epochs of seeking each with a dominant spirit,enduring spokesmen and distinctive problems.We have gone from the "why?"to the "how?" from the search for purpose to the search for causes.

First was the heroic way of prophets and philosophers seeking answers-salvation or truth-from the God above or the reason within each of us.Then came an age of communical seeking,pursuing civilization in the liberal spirit.And most recently there was the age of the social sciences,in which man was reled by the forces of history.We can draw on all these ways of seeking in our personal search for purpose,to find meaning in the seeking.

The first epoch,our ancient heritage,was an age of individual heroic seekers,of inspired prophets and philosophiers.It sought its message from the God above or from the reason within.In fact,the Hebrew word for prophet (nabi) means someone who is inspired by and speaks for God.These prophets were not mere foretellers of the future,but revealers of God's purpose,God's answers to man's"why."
Published: 2009-05-15
Author: Daniel J.Boorstin

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