By John N. Gray
A Globe and Mail most sensible Books of the yr 2011 Title
At the center of human adventure lies an obsession with the character of demise. faith, for many of heritage, has supplied a proof for human existence and a imaginative and prescient of what comes after it. yet within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, such ideals got here below relentless strain as new ideas—from psychiatry to evolution to communism—seemed to indicate that our destiny was once now in our personal palms: people might stop to be animals, defeat demise, and turn into immortal.
In The Immortalization Commission, the acclaimed political thinker and critic John grey takes an excellent and scary examine humankind’s risky striving towards a systematic model of immortality. Probing the parallel faiths of Bolshevik “God-builders,” who sought to reshape the planet and psychical researchers, who believed they'd facts of a nonreligious type of existence after demise, grey increases attention-grabbing questions about how such ideals threaten the very nature of what it skill to be human. He seems to be to philosophers, reporters, politicians, charlatans, and mass murderers who all felt pushed by means of a particularly clinical and smooth worldview and whose insurrection opposed to loss of life ended in a sequence of experiments that ravaged complete nations.
An pressing exam of Darwin’s post-religious legacy, The Immortalization fee is an incredible paintings from “one of Britain’s major public intellectuals” (The Wall highway Journal).
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Additional resources for The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death
While we cannot argue with this testimony, we have a difficult time squaring that late date with the long Postclassic archaeological sequence in eastern Petén. We propose that the Kowoj were one of several elite lineages 14 Introduction to the Kowoj and Their Petén Neighbors affiliated with the Xiw in Yucatán, and, more specifically in Petén, the “Kowoj proper” were probably the last in a series of these lineages to flee Yucatán and migrate to Petén during the several centuries of the Postclassic period.
Rice T he history of the Kowoj in Petén cannot be understood outside of broader relations with other groups in Petén, with groups in Yucatán, and also with the Spaniards. Documentary evidence concerning the latter has been explored by Grant D. Jones (1998, Chapter 3, this volume). Here I situate the Kowoj within a wider historical and geopolitico-ritual landscape by overviewing the practices and events that establish the context of these interrelations. The northern Yucatán peninsula was dominated geopolitically in the Post classic and Colonial periods by two alliances of elite lineages known as the Itza in the east and the Xiw in the west.
672–692 (Schele and Mathews 1998: 365n31). 2 The early elites of Chich’en Itza were literate in hieroglyphic writing, and the inscriptions at the site date from about 800 to 998 (latest date at the Osario structure; Milbrath and Peraza Lope 2003: 21). Although ceramic dating has been a matter of sustained dispute (Andrews, Andrews, and Robles Castellanos 2003; Cobos Palma 2004), two complexes have been identified: Early Sotuta, mixed with some Cehpech pottery associated with the Puuc hills area to the west, 750–900; and Late Sotuta, 900–1000/1050.
The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death by John N. Gray