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Tue, 01 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 A history of high civilization is not confined to the West but can also be found in Asia. William Theodore de Bary, who has taught at Columbia University since 1953, including several years as provost, helped create a public aware of this historical reality. He did so by urging the expansion of the idea that the great books include the Eastern classics, as well as through his inspiring participation in Columbias core courses on Asian humanities and through his many books making the cultural history of China and the rest of East Asia available to educated readers.
A Reply to My Criticshttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/06/a-reply-to-my-critics
Sat, 01 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0400Perhaps it was inevitable in a symposium organized by
that all three commentators fault my book for not taking the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the center of my story, when the fact of the matter is that my book didn’t reach chronologically to the life of Jesus. That’s because
Religion in Human Evolution
, large as it is, is a fragment. I had originally intended to bring the book up to the present, but when in 2010 the manuscript had become so tall that it could almost tip over I realized that it must go to the publisher with the hope for another (inevitably smaller) book to complete what I had originally hoped to do. I rationalized this decision on the grounds that it did achieve, I hoped, one major point that was central to my argument: By looking at where religion came from rather than where it was going, I could avoid what I thought were the major defects of most previous efforts to account for the evolution of religion—namely, determinism and reductionism.