„Increased Afflunce Theory“ of the Axial Age: A Critical Evaluation

Authors

CHALUPA Aleš

Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description This paper is a critical evaluation of the “Increased Affluence Theory”, proposed by Nicolas Baumard, Alexandre Hyafil, Ian Morris and Pascal Boyer (2015). This theory explains the emergence of the so called “Axial Age” as a consequence of increased ability of archaic societies to capture energy from their environment, leading to a creation of socially more complex societies. This situation lead to a gradual abandonment of “fast” life strategies and endorsement of “slow” life strategies which are sensitive to ethical questions and positively appreciate renunciatory behavior. In addition to a general evaluation of this theory and its central assumptions, a case study correlating the emergence of ascetic and moralizing movements (the Franciscans, the Cathars, the Waldensians etc.) with periods of socioeconomic prosperity/crises in mediaeval Europe will be presented.
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