Axial Age

Lay Leader: Doug Toelle   Speaker: Walt Bennish. The Swiss Philosopher Karl Jaspers called the period in world history between 800 BCE and 200 BCE the “Axial Age.” Extraordinary individuals and events are crowded into this period. In China it was the time of Confucius, Lao Tze, and Mo Tze. In India it was the Upanisads, the Bhagavad Gita, Mahavira, and Buddha. In Persia Zoroaster put forward his conception of the cosmic process as a struggle between good and evil gods. In Palestine it was the time of the prophets: Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., and in Greece, the philosophers Heraclitus, Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. This was the age in which questions were asked to define reality, values, the meaning of human existence. Dr. Bennish  will discuss the Axial Age and compare and relate these individuals and events to one another and to our time.