Holding Up a Mirror: How Civilizations Decline

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9780907845607: Holding Up a Mirror: How Civilizations Decline
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The good news is: that faith in material goods really does bring prosperity to society. The bad news is: that self-same commitment to material things leads inexorably to the destruction of the civilizations it builds. Using theatre as a measure society's health, this book shows that Ancient Greece and Rome, Mediaeval Christendom and our own contemporary society all follow the same pattern: prosperity thrives on the conviction that the material world alone constitutes true 'reality ; but that very conviction leads to a rejection of the supernatural, undermines absolute moral standards, and leads to cultural and social disintegration.

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Review:

"A visionary book. Painful yet true in its portrait of the present."

Author: Bryan Appleyard Source: Sunday Times

"A thoroughly researched and illuminating reinterpretation of 'The Crisis of Our Age'."

Author: Angela Ellis-Jones Source: Times Literary Supplement

"Her thesis is challenging and her examples abundant and abundantly interesting."

Author: Alan Massie Source: Daily Telegraph

"Glyn-Jones' intriguing book puts an entirely new gloss on the stereotyped picture of fanatical Islamic theocracy."

Author: Frank McLynn Source: New Statesman and Society

"Ann Glyn-Jones does us a great service."

Author: Tim Heydon Source: Identity

Synopsis:

According to Glyn-Jones, the dynamic that promotes economic prosperity arises largely from the conviction that the material world alone constitutes true reality. Yet, that same dynamic undermines the authority of moral standards and thus leads eventually to self- destruction. Focussing on the dramatic arts as the barometer of social change, this book shows, in vivid detail, how the thesis worked itself out in Greece, Rome, medieval Christendom and contemporary society.

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9780712676335: Holding Up a Mirror: How Civilizations Decline

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ISBN 10:  0712676333 ISBN 13:  9780712676335
Publisher: Century, 1996
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