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Noah and the Nuclear Rainbow

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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In the last few centuries the conventional assumption of both modern secularists and the religious communities has been that our world is too new, our problems too unprecedented, for the ancient systems of religious thought and practice to be useful. I am proposing exactly the opposite approach: That precisely because our world is so new, we must draw on the ancient wisdoms.

We might test this approach against the one fact of our lives that is the most radically unprecedented: that the survival of the human race is in danger, and even the survival of all life on earth is in serious question. How could there emerge from ancient religious traditions that are rooted in a world of firewood and olive oil, spears and chariots, any useful answers to this unprecedented possibility?

Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1983

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