Cf. Weber: “The period of the older Israelitic prophecy at about the time of Eli-
jah was an epoch of strong prophetic propaganda throughout the Near East and
Greece . . . some of which reached into the sixth and even the fifth century. They
were contemporary with Jewish, Persian, and Hindu prophetic movements, and
probably also with the achievements of Chinese ethics in the pre- Confucian pe-
riod.” Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion, trans. Ephraim Fischoff (Boston: Bea-
con, 1964), 48–49.
Henri Bergson, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, trans. Ashley Audra (New
York: Doubleday, 1935), 267.
Weber, The Sociology of Religion, 25.
According to Koichi Namiki, it was on critical examination of their accumulated
knowledge and ideas that they judged it appropriate to expound them as God’s
words. That is to say, it was their expressive style. “It is totally unconceivable that
they did so in bad faith. Rather, they must have considered it to be discreet and
effective, to efface the first person of the writer and direct their thoughts back to
someone else other than themselves. If we don’t grant this it is difficult to jus-
tify the extensive involvement of compilers and commentators in the prophetical
books. However, after the editing of the book is completed, things started to ap-
pear differently.” Koichi Namiki, Kyûyaku- Seisho ni okeru Bunka to Ningen [Culture
and person in the Old Testament] (Tokyo: Kyobunkan, 1999), 28.
「無為自然」or wu wei zi ran. This is a four- character phrase typical of Chinese
rhetoric, with a number of possible connections between the first pair and second
pair. In this case, wu wei or nonaction seems to lead to a “self- thusness” or natu-
ralness. The second pair, zi ran or self- thusness, has come to idiomatically mean
nature, but retains a logical sense in this phrase [translator’s note].
This point explains why Laozi, regarded as the founder of Daoism, has repeatedly
served as the philosophical source for anarchist social movements in Chinese
chapter 1 · ionian society and thought
Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (New York: Penguin Classics, 1963), 20.
Aristotle, Politics, book 6, trans. Benjamin Jowett, in Aristotle II (Chicago: Univer-
sity of Chicago Press, 1952), 520. Note: All texts from the Great Books are available
in a searchable database, at the Internet Classics Archive, http:// classics .mit .edu.
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