Has anyone studied the works of Arnold Toynbee?

Jan 2018
United States
Hi everyone,

I've been reading the abridged version of 'A Study of History', by Arnold Toynbee. It is a monumental work that studies the forces behind the civilizations of the past and their influence on the present day. There is a lot about the role of religion as a revitalizing force in the cycles of dissolution and growth on the world stage. He comes to many conclusions that are in line with a Baha'i worldview.

Here is what he writes in his chapter, 'The need for a comprehensive study of human affairs':

"We shall, however, have to do more than just understand each other's cultural heritages, and more even than just appreciate them. We shall have to value them and love them as being parts of Mankind's common treasure and therefore being ours too, as truly as the heirlooms that we ourselves shall be contributing to the common stock. Without the fire of love, the dangerous fissures in Mankind's social solidarity cannot be annealed. Danger, even when it is as extreme as ours is today, is never a sufficient stimulus in itself to make men do what is necessary for their salvation. It is a poor stimulus because it is a negative one. A coldblooded calculation of expediency will not inspire us with the spiritual power to save ourselves. This power can come only from the disinterested pursuit of a positive aim that will outrange the negative one of trying to avoid self-destruction; and this positive aim can be given to men by nothing but love."

These words ring true in 2019. What are your thoughts?

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