Religions Of The Axial Age: An Approach To The Worlds Religions by Mark W. MuesseCourse Lecture Titles
What Was the Axial Age?
The Noble Ones
The World of Zoroaster
South Asia before the Axial Age
The Start of the Indian Axial Age
Death and Rebirth
The Quest for Liberation
The Vedantic Solution
The One and the Many
The Life of Siddhattha Gotama
I am Awake
Why We Suffer
The Noble Path
From Buddha to Buddhism
East Asia before the Axial Age
The World of Confucius
The Foundations of Confucianism
The Cultivation of Virtue
Early Confucianism and the Rise of Daoism
Daoist Politics and Mysticism
Reflections on the Axial Age
What changed during the axial age: Cognitive styles or reward systems?
Axial Age also Axis Age ,  from German : Achsenzeit is a term coined by German philosopher Karl Jaspers in the sense of a "pivotal age", characterizing the period of ancient history from about the 8th to the 3rd century BCE. During this period, according to Jaspers' concept, new ways of thinking appeared in Persia , India , China and the Greco-Roman world in religion and philosophy , in a striking parallel development, without any obvious direct cultural contact between all of the participating Eurasian cultures. Jaspers identified key thinkers from this age who had a profound influence on future philosophies and religions, and identified characteristics common to each area from which those thinkers emerged. Jaspers' approach to the culture of the middle of the first millennium BCE has been adopted by other scholars and academics, and has become a point of discussion in the history of religion. The simultaneous appearance of thinkers and philosophers in different areas of the world had been remarked by numerous authors since the 18th century, notably by the French Indologist Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron.
These are only some of the representative Axial traditions that emerged and took root during that time. The phrase originated with the German psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers, who noted that during this period there was a shift—or a turn, as if on an axis—away from more predominantly localized concerns and toward transcendence.
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Sponsored link. The world has experienced many rapid changes in religious belief. In the German philosopher Karl Theodor Jaspers coined the phrase "Achsenzeit" "Axial Age" or "Axis age" in English to describe this relatively short interval of rapid religious and spiritual evolution. It is sometimes difficult or impossible to talk about religion in a manner that does not alienate at least some visitors to this web site. Discussing religious change -- something that few religious embrace with enthusiasm -- is a particularly touchy topic. This section is all about change.
Karl Jaspers - pioneered the idea of the Axial Age. According to Jaspers, the period between to B. Some extend the Axial period as late at C. The Axial Age plays a central, foundational, or crucial role in human history. The idea is not universally accepted, however, because it implies a knowing directive force behind the unfolding of history.
Although the Axial Age has recently been the focus of increasing interest, its existence is still very much in dispute. The main reason for questioning the existence of the Axial Age is that its nature, as well as its spatial and temporal boundaries, remain very much unclear. The standard approach to the Axial Age defines it as a change of cognitive style, from a narrative and analogical style to a more analytical and reflective style, probably due to the increasing use of external memory tools. Our recent research suggests an alternative hypothesis, namely a change in reward orientation, from a short-term materialistic orientation to a long-term spiritual one. The concept of the Axial Age developed out of the observation that most of the current world religions Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam can trace their origins back to a specific period of Antiquity around to BCE, and that this period is the first in human history to have seen the appearance of thinkers who still are a source of inspiration for present-day religious and spiritual movements: Socrates, Pythagoras, Buddha, Mahavira, Confucius, Lao Tse, the Hebrew prophets, etc.