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The Separation of Heaven and Earth: The Advent of Social Hierarchy and Its Implications

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238 pages4 hours

Summary

Unlike todays world religious views, the belief in one Supreme Being was once a widespread phenomenon. In The Separation of Heaven and Earth, author Harold Montzka provides evidence of this contemporary view with new arguments.

By studying anthropology and the history of religions, Montzka shows evidence for the belief system of the egalitarian hunters who spread across the globe. In the Near East, the area from the mountains in Turkey to the Persian Gulf, people traded freely without evidence of borders or conflict. Then, social hierarchy became evident in a small area. Shortly after this, a number of hierarchical sites appeared suddenly, and society saw massive buildings, city walls, ethnic divisions, trade to benefit the elites, war, and instability.

Developed over forty years, The Separation of Heaven and Earth points out that a single cosmological theme was present in ancient literature as well as recent preliterate hierarchies. The cosmology justifying the elites in hierarchical societies provided for the society by control of nature. Those few groups who have remained egalitarian do not use this cosmology. They are not dependent on the rituals of a social hierarchy; they depend on the providence of their creator.

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