Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"A new and modern historiography"

[U]nlike in the Old Testament where God’s saving Kingdom is but partially distinguished from the vision of an earthly kingdom, in the New Testament the Kingdom of God demands eyes fixed ultimately on a new heaven and a new earth, that is, a state beyond the end of all ordinary physical processes.

Such is a new vision worthy of a genuinely New Testament, a vision anchored in the new Adam that made possible the rise of a new and modern historiography through Augustine of Hippo. His De civitate Dei is an unabashed casting of all events into a contest between the forces of the Fall and the force of the Resurrection. In Augustine’s view the resurrection of Jesus revealed itself as a singular historic force, especially through its power to impose linearity on thinking about history. Unlike the most noble event in classical, the death of Socrates, which noble pagans could assume to recur in needless numbers of times in a history going through the same cycles to no end, the death and resurrection of Christ inspired the very opposite thinking about all facts: They all appeared as unrepeatable events ties to a single straight filament. 

~Stanley L. Jaki: The Savior of Science, Chap. Five—The All Saving Love.