Civilization is often equated with the story of human advancement and progress. Yet it is also the story of human oppression, exploitation, war, and empire. In our own time, modern global civilization has brought us to the brink of planetary destruction. By offering an understanding of our past, this book aims to provide a stimulus to considering a different future. Our Shadowed World considers how we have been brought to this point. It describes how the fragmented and conflicted state of humanity has "progressed" from the earliest city-states to the devastation of world war and holocaust--how civilization has brought its own form of savagery.
What beliefs have underlain and motivated human action? How have humans tried to understand their world? Driven by the relentless quest for power, by greed, and by extreme beliefs, the human enterprise today has placed the very idea of civilization under threat, the subject of radical questioning. Despite a new ecological awareness dedicated to saving the planet from civilization's carelessness, and a preoccupation with the nature of apocalyptic thinking, a question mark looms over the very survival of humanity in its present state--a question mark that now overshadows the world.