The Law and the Prophets

The Law and the Prophets

The Law and the Prophets

The Law and the Prophets

Excerpt

The concluding volume of our chronological series, figuratively speaking, ends our walk down the corridors of time from the dawn of human life to the periods when written ideas and abstract thought spread far and wide. We have tried to weave into a connected story the facts observed by specialists, not hesitating to advance, in a tentative spirit, hypotheses that may be modified by further study. It seems to us that Grabner's doctrines of the diffusion of culture, and the theories of parallel evolution of culture in different lands, are both of value, and that not infrequently both sets of factors are found acting together. Indeed, we think that culture contacts, except when involving complete destruction on one side or the other, have not only provided mutual enrichment by exchange, but have also stimulated fresh developments. Since such contacts have enabled some of the more active minds in the affected zone to rise out of their traditional prejudices, they have raised such minds to a level of objectivity that promotes freedom of thought. This has been a great stimulus to social and cultural development and a most essential tonic for the maintenance of social health.

Later periods, with more abundant written records, have been reviewed in many works and require different treatment, since, in dealing with them, the scholar has far greater trouble with questions of prejudicial statement. He is able to give more detailed accounts; it is not so certain that he can as adequately grasp the broader truths. In a volume which will be supplementary rather than strictly a continuation of this series, we shall attempt to review the processes of racial and social evolution of man in general terms.

Many thanks are due to the authors, editors, and publishers of the following works and journals for permission to reproduce . . .

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