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The Everlasting Man (annotated, illustrated, complete navigation)

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The Everlasting Man is a two-part history of mankind, Christ, and Christianity, by G. K. Chesterton. This Kindle edition includes 136 endnotes and 13 illustrations that help contemporary reader to better understand the author, his ideas, historical context, his references to numerous names and events. C. S. Lewis credited the book with "baptising" his intellect, much as Geo The Everlasting Man is a two-part history of mankind, Christ, and Christianity, by G. K. Chesterton. This Kindle edition includes 136 endnotes and 13 illustrations that help contemporary reader to better understand the author, his ideas, historical context, his references to numerous names and events. C. S. Lewis credited the book with "baptising" his intellect, much as George MacDonald's writings had baptised his imagination, so as to make him more than half-converted well before he could bring himself to embrace Christianity.


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The Everlasting Man is a two-part history of mankind, Christ, and Christianity, by G. K. Chesterton. This Kindle edition includes 136 endnotes and 13 illustrations that help contemporary reader to better understand the author, his ideas, historical context, his references to numerous names and events. C. S. Lewis credited the book with "baptising" his intellect, much as Geo The Everlasting Man is a two-part history of mankind, Christ, and Christianity, by G. K. Chesterton. This Kindle edition includes 136 endnotes and 13 illustrations that help contemporary reader to better understand the author, his ideas, historical context, his references to numerous names and events. C. S. Lewis credited the book with "baptising" his intellect, much as George MacDonald's writings had baptised his imagination, so as to make him more than half-converted well before he could bring himself to embrace Christianity.

30 review for The Everlasting Man (annotated, illustrated, complete navigation)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fr.Bill M

    Men and women have become Christians solely from reading this one book. If you are not a Christian, beware this book. It will possibly convert you. If it does not, then it will probably irreparably harden your heart. A book to save you eternally or to damn you to hell forever. Amazing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Edward Waverley

    Was Jesus the son of God? I think one of the most fascinating attempts to answer that question was mounted in the early 20th century by the two famous friends and literary rivals HG Wells and GK Chesterton, respectively the agnostic extraordinaire and the Catholic par excellence. For Wells, so emphatic was his need to debunk the notion of Christ's divinity that he took a break from his novels and switched to a series of writings on history, the most famous of which ws his "Outline of History." C Was Jesus the son of God? I think one of the most fascinating attempts to answer that question was mounted in the early 20th century by the two famous friends and literary rivals HG Wells and GK Chesterton, respectively the agnostic extraordinaire and the Catholic par excellence. For Wells, so emphatic was his need to debunk the notion of Christ's divinity that he took a break from his novels and switched to a series of writings on history, the most famous of which ws his "Outline of History." Chesterton responded to his friend's writings regularly, diplomatically, and I think brilliantly. By 1925, both men were famous authors and their theological skirmishes in the pages of their respective books had sharpened into the form of their two respective masterpieces, Wells' Outline, and Chesterton's "The Everlasating Man." If you've ever had a panic attack combined with headache and chills while listening to a skeptic who says that all religions are equivalent forms of the same old junk competing for the attention of the brainless sheep, or if you've ever been suddenly nauseated by your complete inability to respond when someone suggests that all world religions have a sliver of the truth in them, then you might consider reading this. You should read all of Chesterton for that matter. This book, along with his famous "Orthodoxy," is a crystal clear glass of iced Evian in a world parched to the edge of death by cultural relativism. Long before CS Lewis had even begun his career in Christianity, he read and admired "The Everlasting Man," and he later stated that he found it the singlemost persuasive work of Christian apologetics he ever read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    The Everlasting Man is not your typical Christian apologetics classic. I say this because G.K. Chesterton is not aiming to write a pure 'defence of the faith' as it were, but to write a work that better explores the relationship of Christianity to history. It has become something of a fashionable statement to ignore the relevance of Christianity as it pertains to history and so Chesterton sets out to first explore the concept of God and his role as more than merely just another aspect of mytholo The Everlasting Man is not your typical Christian apologetics classic. I say this because G.K. Chesterton is not aiming to write a pure 'defence of the faith' as it were, but to write a work that better explores the relationship of Christianity to history. It has become something of a fashionable statement to ignore the relevance of Christianity as it pertains to history and so Chesterton sets out to first explore the concept of God and his role as more than merely just another aspect of mythology and then to explore the relationship between God and man as seen in Christ. Chesterton makes strong arguments and bold arguments. In doing so he highlights the importance of sticking to one's beliefs. That is why I hold onto my beliefs whether they are...fashionable or not. If I allow my views to merely sway with the breeze of popularity, then what kind of truths do I really believe in? In other words, Chesterton explains the necessity of holding fast to Orthodoxy for himself - a view which others can take to heart. Too often when situations arise in modern society the response of an individual is to change their world-view to accommodate such a situation, when perhaps one should change the response and not the view. Otherwise, all it says is 'I have no strong conviction.' Chesterton makes use of his skill with paradox with such statements as: "Nero could not hire a hundred Christians to be eaten by lions at a shilling an hour, for men will not be martyred for money." There is a sense through Chesterton's writing that he aims to show how Christianity is not another mythology but something different in history. There have been many creation stories, yet how many religions feature the Creator becoming one of his own Creations to save that Creation? That, Chesterton notes, is an interesting kind of paradoxical situation in itself. Perhaps my favourite quote from this work is found on page four: "When the world goes wrong, it proves rather that the Church is right. The Church is justified not because her children do not sin, but because they do." To me this is perfect in that it explains the one thing I often feel like explaining to people. They look at Christians and Christianity and believe it is about morality or ethics, but the gospel is not a tool for purely creating 'good' or 'morally right' people. As Romans 3:23-24 states "23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." The church should be full of people just as hurt, broken and failing as the world, and it is when the church contains such people that the message of the gospel should be seen... Of course if you've read this far through my review you'd be aware that this is a book aimed more at Christians or those actively seeking answers to life from various viewpoints. I find that Chesterton is the best writer I have discovered at providing logical and sound reasons for belief. And in doing so he shows that Christianity is special and that faith and logic are not so different as some may believe.

  4. 5 out of 5

    shaun mccormick

    The best book I have ever read. A wonderful chronicle of how the entirety of history reaches its pinnacle in Jesus. From the start, Chesterton takes the poetic road; he swipes at the theory of evolution by asserting the necessity of art, the desire to create, and the noticing of beauty in unattractive things. Sweeping into the mythologies, he shows how civilizations actually decline into polytheism from monotheism, rather than the generally-accepted opposite. He then shows how the Roman empire was The best book I have ever read. A wonderful chronicle of how the entirety of history reaches its pinnacle in Jesus. From the start, Chesterton takes the poetic road; he swipes at the theory of evolution by asserting the necessity of art, the desire to create, and the noticing of beauty in unattractive things. Sweeping into the mythologies, he shows how civilizations actually decline into polytheism from monotheism, rather than the generally-accepted opposite. He then shows how the Roman empire was "prepared" for the Gospel, and how humankind has never seen an event or movement so breathtaking and changing as the Cross. By and far one of the finest pieces of Christian literature ever written. Memorable quotations: "Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy." "Now each of these explanations in itself seems to be singularly inadequate; but taken together they do suggest something of the very mystery which they miss. There must surely have been something not only mysterious but many-sided about Christ if so many smaller Christs can be carved out of him. If the Christian Scientist is satisfied with him as a spiritual healer and the Christian Socialist is satisfied with him as a social reformer, so satisfied that they do not even expect him to be anything else, it looks as if he really covered rather more ground than they could be expected to expect. And it does seem to suggest that there might be more than they fancy in these other mysterious attributes of casting out devils or prophesying doom." "There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there."

  5. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    What can I possibly write/say about The Everlasting Man that hasn’t already been written/said ever so much better? He is Our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ of course and this book about Him is supposedly the best writing by G.K. Chesterton. The latter point might be debatable, the first certainly isn’t. There is one comment. Perhaps it has been made by others, I do not know. But I loved GK’s points about the Caveman and his drawings. Art is a refinement unique to Man and thanks to the explanation What can I possibly write/say about The Everlasting Man that hasn’t already been written/said ever so much better? He is Our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ of course and this book about Him is supposedly the best writing by G.K. Chesterton. The latter point might be debatable, the first certainly isn’t. There is one comment. Perhaps it has been made by others, I do not know. But I loved GK’s points about the Caveman and his drawings. Art is a refinement unique to Man and thanks to the explanation here, I will not be able to listen to, read or accept, wild caveman theories again. The Everlasting Man is an amazing book. Why has it been so long since I read it? I always ask—say—that when I read or listen to something by Chesterton: why don’t I read him more often? The same with Lewis. They are like mental realignments. This is how I need to think ... or I would like to anyway. Read this. Read it often booklady. January 2, 2018: Actually listened to the first CD before Christmas but wanted/needed to restart due to time lapse. This is Chesterton after all. I know I read this some time in the distant past, but cannot remember when or find where I recorded the date, so will just approach as if this is my first read. Some sounds familiar; most does not.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clare Cannon

    A brilliant study of comparative religion from earliest known human history to recent times. Chesterton looks at the essence of each religion and what makes them different to Christianity, so that you gradually realise that there is very little in which they can be compared, much less considered similar. There is no political correctness is what he says, if there were, the differences would have been neutralised until everything tasted more or less the same. However, Chesterton may be best read A brilliant study of comparative religion from earliest known human history to recent times. Chesterton looks at the essence of each religion and what makes them different to Christianity, so that you gradually realise that there is very little in which they can be compared, much less considered similar. There is no political correctness is what he says, if there were, the differences would have been neutralised until everything tasted more or less the same. However, Chesterton may be best read in print and not listened to on audio - Audible's only version was appalling: it was read too fast and with a monotonous intonation that did little for the meaning of the words. The audio seemed to exaggerate (and make inaccessible) Chesterton's repetitive-in-reverse style, for example "Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy." This type of explanation needs to be pondered rather than raced over, which made the audio impenetrable and hard to follow. Even though I probably didn't catch it all, what I caught planted something profound in my soul. Reviewed for www.GoodReadingGuide.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    The Spiritual History of Humanity 9 June 2016 It was quite ironic that as I was reading this book I noticed that a friend of mine was regularly updating his Facebook status with quotes from G.K. Chesterton. Mind you, they weren't any old quotes, they were no doubt quotes that particularly struck him. It is a real shame that he isn't on Goodreads (or has made any mention on Facebook what book he is reading) because no doubt he is reading some Chesterton at this time, I just am not really sure whic The Spiritual History of Humanity 9 June 2016 It was quite ironic that as I was reading this book I noticed that a friend of mine was regularly updating his Facebook status with quotes from G.K. Chesterton. Mind you, they weren't any old quotes, they were no doubt quotes that particularly struck him. It is a real shame that he isn't on Goodreads (or has made any mention on Facebook what book he is reading) because no doubt he is reading some Chesterton at this time, I just am not really sure which one it its (though it is no doubt one of his Christian books, and one of the more popular ones at that). Okay, I could have asked him, but my only real interactions with Facebook tend to involve sharing photos of cats and posting blogs and other things (and the occasional remark regarding some place I am visiting). Anyway, here are a couple of the quotes that he has posted: A man cannot think himself out of mental evil; for it is actually the organ of thought that has become diseased, ungovernable, and, as it were, independent. He can only be saved by will or faith. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason. Come to think of it, he might just be reading The Everlasting Man as we speak, especially since this is one of those books that is so deep, and so thought provoking, that one simply cannot read it once and get anywhere near enough out of it that one could get out of it. It reminded me of some of C.S. Lewis's works, which can also be incredibly deep, that I had to read twice, or even three times, to really appreciate what he was saying. Anyway, as I have mentioned in the title of this review, this is a book about the spiritual history of humanity. It is Christian without a doubt, which means that he concludes the book with the argument as to why Christianity is the best religion, and why Christ is the only person worth following. The thing is that I have read many books that have a similar purpose, and other than the afore mentioned C.S. Lewis, these books simply do not seem to have the same punch that Chesterton's carries. I have read many Christain books in my life, and there are very few that I would recommend, let along give away as presents and not feel that I am ramming Christianity down people's throats, yet both Lewis and Chesterton do not make me feel that way. I thought about this as I was reading the Everlasting Man (and as I was composing this review), and I believe there are two reasons. The first is that they write really, really well. Many, if not all, of the Christian books that I have read these days tend to be very dry and academic (with the exception of Philip Yancey). Sure, many of us read non-fiction, me being one of them, yet Chesterton's writing is almost, if not, poetic. He has this gift of being able to write something in that way that is beautiful, yet incredibly confronting. I feel that many of the Christian authors out there could learn a thing or two from Chesterton, and in fact they probably should consider having some form of writing classes in today's Bible Colleges. That is the other thing – neither Chesterton nor Lewis were theologically trained. C.S. Lewis was a professor of English Literature and G.K. Chesterton was a journalist. They aren't writing as theologians, they are writing as lay people, and in a way lay people can actually have a much better understanding of Christianity than a pastor who has spent years at Seminary and has a string of letters after his name. In fact I did a couple of subjects at a local Bible College and I have to admit that I hated it. What Bible College was doing was that it was turning my faith from a thing of the heart into a thing of the head, and once one's faith becomes purely academic, one is actually in danger of losing one's faith. Anyway, there are a few things that struck me in this book, and I wish to talk about some of them, Cavemen The thing with Chesterton is that he can be incredibly funny, and his opening chapters on the cavemen were just that. While he does not seek to critise the art of science, he understands that it is just that – art. The problem with prehistory is that we do not have any written records of what happened back then. All we have are some paintings on the wall of a cave and some speculation. In fact it was the paintings on the cave wall that he was poking fun at, namely because the scientists at the time had come up with this idea and were sticking with it, when it fact there could be a number of things behind it, such as it being a nursery (since the walls of nurseries can be covered with pictures of animals), or were simply something that the cavemen (or their kids) scribbled because they were bored. The other thing he wrote about was this absurd idea that cavemen breed by whacking a woman on the back of her head with a club and then dragging her back to his cave. I'm sure we have all seen something like this: The problem Chesterton sees is that first of all this is pure mythology. There is actually no evidence that cavemen ever did that. In my mind this poses a further problem, and a problem that we still, unfortunately, face today – it objectifies women. By creating this myth it creates this idea that women are little more than objects that men can take for themselves, forcefully. This suggests that cavemen were little more than animals, and Chesterton doesn't believe that they were – the cave paintings go a long way to prove that. The problem is that there are many, in fact way too many, men who seem to think that this is acceptable behaviour. The furore over the events at Stanford College demonstrate that such attitudes are still alive and well today, even in a supposedly civilised society such as ours. The problem is that such images only serve to reinforce this attitude. We are not animals, we are civilised human beings, and we need to start treating everybody, regardless of gender, race, or class, as civilised human beings. Merchantalism Chesterton then progresses through the ages to the conflict between Carthage and Rome. This appears in a chapter entitled 'Gods and Demons'. The interesting thing is that he paints Rome as being a civilisation lead by the gods of the sky, while Carthage was led by the demons of the Earth, in particular Moloch. As an interesting side note he points out how we don't name our children after the heroes of Classical Athens, such as Agamemnon, Achilles, and such, however we use names from the defeated Trojans, such as Paris and Hecktor. No doubt this probably has a lot to do with the Romans claiming descendancy from the Trojans, but as I suggested, this is a side note. Oh, that's right: Anyway, I get the impression that Chesterton isn't a big fan of merchantalism with the fact that he connects the Cartheginians to the Near Eastern god Moloch, and child sacrifice. His point is that the Cartheginans were merchants and were ruled by merchant princes, and this was in fact their downfall. No doubt this is a rather (or not too) subtle jab at the British Empire, famously called 'A Nation of Shopkeepers' by Napoleon. The thing is that he has a point – Hannibal was on the verge of destroying Rome, however the merchant princes in Carthage saw that the defeat at Cannae was enough to undermine Rome and saw no need to continue spending money to finance Hannibal's war effort. Since Hannibal was starved of resources, despite having control of the Italian Peninsula, it gave the Romans an opening to launch a counter-attack, one that eventually destroyed Carthage. We see this absurdity in out world today, with the farcical austerity measures imposed by almost every developed economy. The belief is that to stimulate growth one must cut taxes to businesses, thus starving the government of revenue, and forcing them to cut funding to essential services. Thus governments need money, so they sell of profitable assets to build and maintain infrastructure (selling the house to remodel the kitchen), yet refuse to take on more debt, while cutting interest rates to ridiculous levels to force the private sector to take on more debt (debt is bad for government, but good for the private sector). The problem is that businesses don't always use tax cuts to expand the business, or to grow the economy – in many cases they simply shove the savings into an investment fund for their retirement. The funny this is that the champion of the neo-liberals, Adam Smith, actually warned against the foly of allowing businessmen to dictate economic policy – they would always do it for their own interests, and when self interested people are given charge of the economy, it always, inventively, suffers. The Persistence of Christianity It is very easy for a Christian to get caught up in the idea that it has lasted two thousand years without alteration, but we forget that this is also the case with other regions – Buddhism clocks in at around 2500 years, and Judaism and Hinduism are looking at around 3500 years. The argument then goes that it has lasted 2000 years in its purest form, but once again I would argue against that namely because there is a debate as to what the original Christianity actually was, and not everybody accepts that the Bible is as authentic as Christians claim it is. The thing with Christianity, or at least what I believe Christianity to be, is that it always seems to revert back to a specific norm. As the faith grew, splinter sects began to appear and to change the original message. While I accept that not everybody is going to agree with me, my basic preposition is that it boils down to one commandment given by Christ – love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as yourself. The problem was that Christianity devolved into be good and you will go to heaven, be bad and you will go to hell (with good and bad being defined by those in power). However, at every turn a grass roots movement would arrive to shift this back to the centre. We saw this happen with the invention of the printing press, and we are seeing it again with the rise of Social Media. In both periods powerful interest groups had seized control of the faith to exert their own agenda. We saw that with the medieval Catholic Church, and we are seeing it again with the hate fuelled extremist movement. These days so called Christians are running around turning it into a form of libertarian, free market, small government ideology, and certain elements of society – single mothers, the LGBT, foreigners, and many others – are demonised and persecuted. Yet while they are running around persecuting people they are screaming out that they are in fact the ones being persecuted. Yet many Christians who have become sick and tired of this endless dogma are rushing to social media, which is giving them a voice to say 'hey, we aren't actually like that, we aren't a religion of hate, we are a religion of love'. Yet it is still early days – elections aren't won or lost, yet, in the Twittersphere, but the time is coming.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    How to explain what it is like reading G. K. Chesterton? It is having your mind blown and your imagination blessed at the same time. It is sentences that need to be re-read because they are both profound and painful. It is feeling like you are being put through a ringer but you'll be better for it at the end. Clever, challenging, encouraging, even inspiring. That is what it is to read Chesterton. It took me a summer to get through this one but I highly value the chance I got to really dig deep. How to explain what it is like reading G. K. Chesterton? It is having your mind blown and your imagination blessed at the same time. It is sentences that need to be re-read because they are both profound and painful. It is feeling like you are being put through a ringer but you'll be better for it at the end. Clever, challenging, encouraging, even inspiring. That is what it is to read Chesterton. It took me a summer to get through this one but I highly value the chance I got to really dig deep. I'll be coming back, that is for sure!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Chesterton is a genius. Period. This book, more than most others that are on the subject of Christian apologetics, blew me away. I can't really put into words anything more than that. Maybe until I read it again. My mind was just stretched to its limits in the scope and density of his arguments. Chesterton covers every argument for Christ & Christianity and its need and place in history. I recommend this book to any Christian and most especially to any Catholic to read in their lifetime. At Chesterton is a genius. Period. This book, more than most others that are on the subject of Christian apologetics, blew me away. I can't really put into words anything more than that. Maybe until I read it again. My mind was just stretched to its limits in the scope and density of his arguments. Chesterton covers every argument for Christ & Christianity and its need and place in history. I recommend this book to any Christian and most especially to any Catholic to read in their lifetime. At some point, take the challenge. Read this then go on and read "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis (who was very much influenced by G.K. Chesterton) The only question I asked my wife when I was finished was: Where in the world are the people like Chesterton in today's Christian world?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    Third time's the charm ... or rather the re-charm! This time I read the actual print version and found it just as good, if not better, than the audio I'd always used before. A few paragraphs before my day began always gave me a little nugget to ponder. This is an incredibly rich book which made me wonder if it was, in a way, Chesterton's version of City of God by St. Augustine. Not that Chesterton would do that, but having listened to a Great Course on City of God while reading this, I couldn't Third time's the charm ... or rather the re-charm! This time I read the actual print version and found it just as good, if not better, than the audio I'd always used before. A few paragraphs before my day began always gave me a little nugget to ponder. This is an incredibly rich book which made me wonder if it was, in a way, Chesterton's version of City of God by St. Augustine. Not that Chesterton would do that, but having listened to a Great Course on City of God while reading this, I couldn't help but make the comparison. Anyway, definitely worth reading just to get your world view shaken up in a most unexpected way. ========= Rereading ... or rather relistening. I'm being blown away once again. Original review is below. ========= Having finished Chesterton's book about St. Francis of Assisi, I looked for a copy of this one, which I've always found the most intriguing concept of all his books: a study of comparative religion against the backdrop of history, as compared to Christianity. I was really surprised to find the first chapter meshing incredibly well with Jurassic Park, which I am just finishing up for the umpteenth time. This was made by Chesterton's point about what scientists of the day said was typical caveman behavior (beating women, dragging them by hair, etc.) versus the actual evidence of paintings done in caves. As one of the main points of Jurassic Park is that scientists make a lot of decisions based on their preconceptions versus actual reality, the caveman argument really hit home. One wonders if Michael Crichton read much G.K. Chesterton. I can really see how this would have been an influence on C.S. Lewis. I listened to the John Franklyn-Robbins narration; it was incredible.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    The Everlasting Man is a strange kind of Christian apologetics, which relates the story of man from the beginning of time. Chesterton gives a delightful thrashing to the anthropologists who draw amazing conclusions from minimal evidence; emphasizes that whether or not evolution is true, it offers absolutely no reasonable explanation for the vast divide between man and the animals; pokes some fun at the silliness of comparative religion; and teases the historical critics who draw insupportable cl The Everlasting Man is a strange kind of Christian apologetics, which relates the story of man from the beginning of time. Chesterton gives a delightful thrashing to the anthropologists who draw amazing conclusions from minimal evidence; emphasizes that whether or not evolution is true, it offers absolutely no reasonable explanation for the vast divide between man and the animals; pokes some fun at the silliness of comparative religion; and teases the historical critics who draw insupportable claims about the origins of orthodox Christianity. I was actually more engaged at the beginning of the book than I was as it wore on; he seems to apply most of his wit and humor towards the beginning. At times Chesterton is "too clever," to self-satisfied, too caught up in the beauty of his own language, but there is no denying his wit and his insight, and his zingers do zing. This is entertaining, intellectual apologetics of a kind rarely found; indeed, not found anywhere else that I can think of. Unfortunately, I borrowed it form the library, and so I could not highlight my favorite lines. Perhaps it is just as well, or three-fourths of the book might have been underlined by the end. But from it I take away these points: that the cave man was likely more human than the anthropologists make him out to be; that the academics of comparative religion confuse mythology with actual religious systems; and that Christianity was the first thing to combine, utterly, both philosophy and religion. The apologetics are somewhat random and lack a clear organization; he seems to say what he thinks when he thinks of it, almost in a train of thought fashion, although there are loose thematic divisions for the chapters. I think Chesterton seems to occasionally fall into the same trap he has criticized others for: attributing psychological motives to people whose motives he could not know. All and all though, an excellent book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dhandayutha

    There are some writers you must read them to learn what it means to think,what it means to argue,how to keep your guns intact at all moments.Nietzsche,Adorno,Lawrence,Chesterton are few among them.Reading Adorno and Chesterton and Nietzsche are an exercise to mind to learn how to think.As far i know Chesterton was a most potential opponent of Nietzsche and a strong defendant of Christianity.Its very hard not to be absorbed by him whenever you read him.Only when i read Chesterton and Nietzsche to There are some writers you must read them to learn what it means to think,what it means to argue,how to keep your guns intact at all moments.Nietzsche,Adorno,Lawrence,Chesterton are few among them.Reading Adorno and Chesterton and Nietzsche are an exercise to mind to learn how to think.As far i know Chesterton was a most potential opponent of Nietzsche and a strong defendant of Christianity.Its very hard not to be absorbed by him whenever you read him.Only when i read Chesterton and Nietzsche together i understand why truth is a paradox.The insights which Chesterton brought to things or Nietzsche brought to things both were fascinating and true and same time very opposite to each other.Nietzsche want us admire the strong,Chesterton want us to despise the strong.Nietzsche pity the meek who want to inherit the earth.Chesterton question the meek who was not meek enough to inherit the earth.Its quite fun and challenging to read both together until you go mad.By reading both you learn what it means to take a stand and hold the guns!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    Re-read 2018-08-05 The first thing I ever read of Chesterton's was a chapter from this book titled "God in a Cave", so I have a great fondness for this books and my introduction to Chesterton. As this is another re-read of this, my love of this goes much farther than fondness. His "outline of history" in response to his friend H.G. Well's book still pertains as much today as ever. This sweeping birds eye view of history presents a rather odd apologetic and a way of seeing things so simple that you Re-read 2018-08-05 The first thing I ever read of Chesterton's was a chapter from this book titled "God in a Cave", so I have a great fondness for this books and my introduction to Chesterton. As this is another re-read of this, my love of this goes much farther than fondness. His "outline of history" in response to his friend H.G. Well's book still pertains as much today as ever. This sweeping birds eye view of history presents a rather odd apologetic and a way of seeing things so simple that you pass over them. Masterful and just plain fun.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sancti Tomma

    When I finished I only wished there was more. And I wondered, “Why haven’t I read this before?”. This is a work of history similar in some ways to Atheistic Delusions by David Bentley Hart, though still much different.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark Adderley

    I've now read "The Everlasting Man" for the second time. It has some of the drawbacks other reviewers have noted--racial epithets that don't go down well in the twenty-first century, Eurocentrism (more below), a style that sometimes obscures the main point. However, these are superficial criticisms. For the most part, it presents an examination of certain logical fallacies about the Christian faith that you sometimes hear today. The science of evolution may have moved on from what it was in Chest I've now read "The Everlasting Man" for the second time. It has some of the drawbacks other reviewers have noted--racial epithets that don't go down well in the twenty-first century, Eurocentrism (more below), a style that sometimes obscures the main point. However, these are superficial criticisms. For the most part, it presents an examination of certain logical fallacies about the Christian faith that you sometimes hear today. The science of evolution may have moved on from what it was in Chesterton's day, but the average person's understanding of evolution hasn't. The main point Chesterton is making, however, is that the materialist interpretation of history, founded ultimately on Marx's analysis of history as being focused on economics, is wrong. Chesterton posits instead a proviential interpretation of history--all events move according to a divine plan. In fact, Chesterton's point is that it's impossible to avoid the conclusion that history is providential. He accomplishes this with a rigorous logic, usually also exposing the flaws in other arguments. What did I learn from this book? Well, hardly anything new. That's because I read it once before, about fifteen years ago, and the main ideas have all become vague assumptions--now considerably less vague. Now. On the subject of Eurocentrism. In some ways, this term is as offensive as some other cultural labels that shouldn't be mentioned in polite society. What do we mean by Eurocentric? Where is the centre? In Poland? In Spain? In Greece? In Luxembourg? Like all cultural epithets, the term "eurocentrism" reduces a complex culture to an insultingly simple stereotype. Chesterton's point is that Christianity is a faith for the whole world, not just for Europe; but it had to begin somewhere, and it found its first flourishing in Europe. That's a hard historical fact to argue against. If you're going to argue that Christianity is the best faith available--and why would be be anything else if you didn't believe that--then you're probably going to sound "Eurocentric." The Incas didn't come up with Christianity. Treating other cultures fairly isn't the same as treating them all the same.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    I mean it was C. S. Lewis who said: "for me a book is of no use if I don't read it at least two or three times". Well, I only can agree to the uttermost with Lewis. Particularly "the everlasting man" by G. K. Chesterton is a classic candidate for rereading it several times.... The book himself enjoys a classic status. Here Chesterton displays masterfully his keen, winning and engaging wit, and tantalizes us trough his amazing and eloquent gift as one of the best Christians apologetics writer ever!! I mean it was C. S. Lewis who said: "for me a book is of no use if I don't read it at least two or three times". Well, I only can agree to the uttermost with Lewis. Particularly "the everlasting man" by G. K. Chesterton is a classic candidate for rereading it several times.... The book himself enjoys a classic status. Here Chesterton displays masterfully his keen, winning and engaging wit, and tantalizes us trough his amazing and eloquent gift as one of the best Christians apologetics writer ever!! "The everlasting Man" will left you behind with an huge amount of information and data, but it also will provide and open for you conclusions and inferences you would never have seen without it. In his book Chesterton analyses and compare the history of mankind as told by the so called scientist, versus the Christian perspective about creation and the unfolding of men.... Friends, I love this book!!! The only reason I haven't given it 5 stars, exist only in not having enough capacity to grasp its richness by reading it only one time. But, I tell you something, what I have been able to grasp is amazing. A rewarding reading experience full of insights awaits you!!! Fluently and gripping written it will not disappoint. Recommendation not only for believers, but for all who thirst for the truth and reality..... Dean:)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    A few months ago I read an anthropology book in which the author took the position that because there are particulars (particular religions, particular moral codes), we are justified in believing this means we have imagined all universals (God, good and evil). God does not exist and all of these elaborate and competing theologies more or less popped up simultaneously over the planet as we spread across it. From these particulars, we then imagined a universal: an actual Creator behind it all. How A few months ago I read an anthropology book in which the author took the position that because there are particulars (particular religions, particular moral codes), we are justified in believing this means we have imagined all universals (God, good and evil). God does not exist and all of these elaborate and competing theologies more or less popped up simultaneously over the planet as we spread across it. From these particulars, we then imagined a universal: an actual Creator behind it all. However, the traffic on that street travels in both directions: if you can start with the particulars and infer there are no universals, you can also start with universals and infer it explains the particulars. One may assume and assert that the particulars have led us to imagine universals but another can just as easily assume and assert that there are very real universals that account for the particulars in the first place. Though he does not express it as such, the argument Chesterton makes in this book is the same argument turned head over heels: the reason there are particulars is because before there ever were particulars, there were universals. Stated in the language of anthropology rather than philosophy: some would contend monotheism was a progression from polytheism, others that polytheism is a degeneration of monotheism. I think most reasonable people would concede that flint knives and arrowheads by the dump truck load and acreage after acreage of excavation sites might tell us all kinds of things about our ancestors – even what some of their spiritual beliefs might have been - but there is one question they will never be able to answer: whether God exists or not. It is beyond the ken of such artifacts to answer that question. The reason why is simple. That isn't an anthropological question, it's a metaphysical one. As for universals and particulars, smarter people than me have been debating that ever since Plato and Aristotle first put on the gloves. Nonetheless, I'll fly my flag. The universal preceded the particulars. God does exist. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I expected to and I suppose that might be part of the problem – I had expectations of it. Since the author is often coupled to C.S. Lewis in classic Christian writing, I came to it expecting the same whittled down precision that typifies Lewis. The writing style is the opposite of that though; voluminous and in some places quite poetic. Not that there is anything wrong with that at all but there is a necessary trade-off: poetry comes at the expense of clarity and clarity comes at the expense of poetry. I wonder if I would have liked it more if I had no expectations of it. I am not sure I would have - it was honestly a chore for me to finish this book. However, expectations aside, the book does contains some colourful passages. The description of the Punic Wars was particularly evocative. As an aside, the author casually ponders what the world would be like today if Carthage (a city that archaeological discovery confirms routinely practiced child sacrifice) had won the war instead of Rome. My mind instantly wandered off on a tangent: What might the world be like today if that had been the case? Shades of The Man in the High Castle?

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Huff

    A masterpiece among many fine works of Chesterton, “The Everlasting Man” brings an everlasting change to the whole notion of “comparative religions”; and reading this great and challenging book will give you a new perspective on the history of the world. In fact, Chesterton wrote it, in part, as a theological rebuttal to H. G. Wells’ “Outline of History”. More specifically, it is a deep and beautifully written essay to describe, as the Boston Transcript notes, “How the fulfillment of all man’s d A masterpiece among many fine works of Chesterton, “The Everlasting Man” brings an everlasting change to the whole notion of “comparative religions”; and reading this great and challenging book will give you a new perspective on the history of the world. In fact, Chesterton wrote it, in part, as a theological rebuttal to H. G. Wells’ “Outline of History”. More specifically, it is a deep and beautifully written essay to describe, as the Boston Transcript notes, “How the fulfillment of all man’s desires takes place in the person of Christ and in Christ’s Church.” Chesterton’s writing is elegant, rich, and filled with thought provoking paradoxes that beg to be re-read and pondered: “It is exactly when we do regard man as an animal that we know he is not an animal.” “There was nothing left that could conquer Rome, but there was also nothing left that could improve it.” “Just as they became unnatural by worshipping nature, so they actually became unmanly by worshipping man.” “Divinity is great enough to be divine; it is great enough to call itself divine. But as humanity grows greater, it grows less and less likely to do so. God is God, as the Moslems say; but a great man knows he is not God, and the greater he is the better he knows it. That is the paradox; everything that is merely approaching to that point is merely receding from it.” Any lover of history will gain fresh insight from this book; an agnostic or atheist will find much to ponder; Christians will treasure it as a great apologetic and faith builder; followers of other religions may discover that all paths don’t necessarily lead where they might expect. Enjoy exploring the mind of a master wordsmith, and a writer who crafted incomparable sentences and sublime thoughts!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Chesterton writes this book to fend off the same arguments that continue today -evolutionist philosophy, materialism, comparative religion. He brings out a point I had not considered before. Humanism would have us believe that society is evolving to ever higher civilization. Chesterton points out that history does not bear this out. Egypt, Babylon, the Mayans; all had advanced civilizations that disintegrated because of the nature of man. It brought to mind a conversation I had with a young man i Chesterton writes this book to fend off the same arguments that continue today -evolutionist philosophy, materialism, comparative religion. He brings out a point I had not considered before. Humanism would have us believe that society is evolving to ever higher civilization. Chesterton points out that history does not bear this out. Egypt, Babylon, the Mayans; all had advanced civilizations that disintegrated because of the nature of man. It brought to mind a conversation I had with a young man in Egypt in 2011 where in bewilderment he wondered 'What happened to the greatness of Egypt?". Great question! Chesterton argues that society is degenerating as we move farther away from God, and that history demonstrates this. Remember the 'Dark Ages'? Consider as well that Chesterton wrote this in 1925, before Hitler, Stalin, the Cultural Revolution and the Khmer Rouge, brutal exterminations in the name of advancing society. He also argues that pagan religion and mythology as well, are not primitive religions evolving toward a higher religion, but rather stories that replaced the true story as man fled his original knowledge of the one true God. This is one of those books that is humbling in its scope. As I listened I realized how little of history I know and how much of the classics I have missed. Chesterton uses his broad knowledge to build his argument that we are a people attempting to flee our place as everlasting beings.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I may have finished this book, but I'm not done with it. Nowhere near. I will be thumbing back through my (many) underlined passages to try and retrace the whole argument Chesterton makes. Essentially, Chesterton sets out to prove that "man is not an evolution, but a revolution." And that any effort to dismiss Christianity as just one among many belief systems falls short of truly seeing Christianity as the oddity that it was and is still. Chesterton has a way of seeing the world that draws my a I may have finished this book, but I'm not done with it. Nowhere near. I will be thumbing back through my (many) underlined passages to try and retrace the whole argument Chesterton makes. Essentially, Chesterton sets out to prove that "man is not an evolution, but a revolution." And that any effort to dismiss Christianity as just one among many belief systems falls short of truly seeing Christianity as the oddity that it was and is still. Chesterton has a way of seeing the world that draws my attention to details I'd overlooked or dismissed, raises questions I've never thought to ask, and helps me find the humor in things I might have been tempted to take far too seriously. As with all Chesterton, about 1/3 of the book alludes to names, places, or events that are unfamiliar to me. I can usually still trace the argument (since he typically proves each point with several examples), and I find that the other 2/3 of the book are so incredibly brilliant that it is worth ignoring his examples when they get too specific or assume a level of intimate knowledge with, say, Roman history that I do not have.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This is a masterpiece. It is a focused walk through the story of mankind. I think that I will use this with my beginning scholars as an orientation to world history. I will forever understand that man always begins in a cave. Chesterton has given me a powerful understanding of why Christ was born in a stable (rather than A field, the woods, a home or a palace). I have a new confidence and peace and sense of hope for my own time knowing that it is only natural that Christendom will go through a g This is a masterpiece. It is a focused walk through the story of mankind. I think that I will use this with my beginning scholars as an orientation to world history. I will forever understand that man always begins in a cave. Chesterton has given me a powerful understanding of why Christ was born in a stable (rather than A field, the woods, a home or a palace). I have a new confidence and peace and sense of hope for my own time knowing that it is only natural that Christendom will go through a great many evolutions and series of deaths but that it will always have a resurrection. As Chesterton says, ours is a God who knows His way out of the grave. Fulton Sheen preached on the same truth as Chesterton does here. For every Good Friday we know Easter Sunday is guaranteed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Withun

    Chesterton has taken up a tremendous task with this book and spectacularly accomplished his goals. Here, he sets out to explore and explain the nature and history of man in relation to the central event in the history of the species: the Incarnation of God as man in the Person of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this goal, Chesterton begins with the beginning of man in prehistory and proceeds through to the rise of Christianity. His goal along the way is to demonstrate the singular uniqueness of man Chesterton has taken up a tremendous task with this book and spectacularly accomplished his goals. Here, he sets out to explore and explain the nature and history of man in relation to the central event in the history of the species: the Incarnation of God as man in the Person of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this goal, Chesterton begins with the beginning of man in prehistory and proceeds through to the rise of Christianity. His goal along the way is to demonstrate the singular uniqueness of man among the animals coupled with his simultaneously insufficiency in the accomplishment of his own salvation. The points that he demonstrates along the way include the great difference even the most primitive of man shows when compared with any of even the highest members of the animal world; the preparation for the Gospel that took place in the religious thought of the Jews, the philosophy of the Greeks, and the military and political domination of the Romans over the Mediterranean world; and the essential difference between Christ and all other teachers and religious figures the world has ever seen. And all of this Chesterton argues with his characteristic wit and wisdom, stringing together his paragraphs and chapters out of aphorisms rather than sentences in the dry, academic sense that word has taken on. This book is a book that will have one of two effects upon the sensitive reader: it will either lead him to a conversion (or to a deepening of faith, should he already be so convinced) or it will lead him to irrevocably harden his heart against ever converting to Christianity. Either way, it is a book that will have a permanent effect on those who read it well. And that is indeed the mark of a great book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I've read this twice now, and I continue to think this is a vastly overrated book. Pieces of it are beautiful and rather brilliant, but only slight pieces. There's the argument about not dismissing ideas simply because they fell out of fashion - were they actually disproved? The answer is, yes, and the book falls short because the author's intelligence was strangled by his Euro-centric, racist, sexist beliefs. He is entirely blind to the crimes of Western Culture, and he seems to have sincerely I've read this twice now, and I continue to think this is a vastly overrated book. Pieces of it are beautiful and rather brilliant, but only slight pieces. There's the argument about not dismissing ideas simply because they fell out of fashion - were they actually disproved? The answer is, yes, and the book falls short because the author's intelligence was strangled by his Euro-centric, racist, sexist beliefs. He is entirely blind to the crimes of Western Culture, and he seems to have sincerely believed that yes, perhaps the Conquistadors weren't so great, but the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice, so it's wonderful that all the indigenous people were wiped out to make way for the West. Rome is turned into the center of all things glorious, and after his passionate attacks on certain academics for basing enormous theories on shaky evidence, it's a great act of hypocrisy to deduce the feelings of every Roman from pretty much nothing. I'm also pretty offended by any book that talks about how right and true Christianity is and how the whole world was "tired" and bound to come around - without really talking about anything that Jesus actually preached. He's far more fascinated with dogma and propping up creeds than in reading the gospels. Argh. It's frustrating, because some of Chesterton's other writings truly are insightful and full of his much-lauded (un)common-sense. Unfortunately, I think it's a big mistake to tout this book as a brilliant apologetic. I seem to have the strange idea that an apologetic shouldn't mean excusing (and glorifying) the last 500 years of Western exploitation of the people and lands of the planet, and that discussing Christianity shouldn't be an excuse for defending the Old Boys Club. This book is sort of the anti-Tolstoy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Wright

    Such is the peculiarity of my shelving structure that I must put all books by G. K. Chesterton on a shelf called 'modernist-era'. How did the very scourge of modernity in person end up on a such an oddly named shelf? Especially such a book as this, where he lays into everything modern with all his formidable eloquence. He is at his best at the beginning, critiquing contemporary unfounded speculation about primitive humankind. In this, he has very much been vindicated by events - palaeoanthropolo Such is the peculiarity of my shelving structure that I must put all books by G. K. Chesterton on a shelf called 'modernist-era'. How did the very scourge of modernity in person end up on a such an oddly named shelf? Especially such a book as this, where he lays into everything modern with all his formidable eloquence. He is at his best at the beginning, critiquing contemporary unfounded speculation about primitive humankind. In this, he has very much been vindicated by events - palaeoanthropology has moved on, but failed to come to much consensus, while modernism has given way to post-modernism with its suspicion of grand narratives. On the other hand, he does somewhat ruin the effect by proceeding to indulge in several chapters' worth of unfounded speculation himself. I always find this aspect of Chesterton somewhat frustrating, and it makes me wonder what so many reasonable people see in him, but I think this is because I'm reading him wrong - he is not trying to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth all the time, but to use paradoxes to make the reader think through their assumptions. The second part - 'On the Man Called Christ' - suffers from some of the same problems, but is generally much better. The way he tells the gospel narrative is beautiful and compelling.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Magnificent.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Considered a masterpiece among Chesterton’s many books, this was written to refute H. G. Wels’s endorsement of a purely natural view of the evolution of Homo sapiens and of human culture. Chesterton here argues that religion is integral and essential to understanding humanity and the world and that, of all religious systems, Christianity is alone true and Catholicism the most perfect expression of Christianity. I am not a fan of polemics; it only affords access to one side of an argument without Considered a masterpiece among Chesterton’s many books, this was written to refute H. G. Wels’s endorsement of a purely natural view of the evolution of Homo sapiens and of human culture. Chesterton here argues that religion is integral and essential to understanding humanity and the world and that, of all religious systems, Christianity is alone true and Catholicism the most perfect expression of Christianity. I am not a fan of polemics; it only affords access to one side of an argument without the rebuttal of the opposing view. Although I am a member of Chesterton’s praised group, I frequently wondered about the claims he made about other religious groups and other cultures. Chesterton’s argument is so multi-faceted that questioning one claim might feel like nitpicking. But there were so many questionable assertions that it began to feel like literary Jenga, the entire structure seemed endanger of toppling.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eristina

    Knjiga koja me navela da puno toga promišljam, da stvari pogledam i iz nekih drugih kutova i promislim o njima. Vjerujem da osobi koja mrzi religiju ovo može doći ili kao veliko otrježnjenje ili je navesti na još veće otvrdnuću srca. Nije dobilo najvišu ocjenu jer se nekim stvarima nije bavio koliko bih ja željela, a što i sam priznaje. Meni je baš nedostajalo više ulaska u samu vjeru, ali smatram da je to ovoj knjizi baš svojstvenu i da je zato vrijedna, jer gotovo da piše povijest svijeta i kul Knjiga koja me navela da puno toga promišljam, da stvari pogledam i iz nekih drugih kutova i promislim o njima. Vjerujem da osobi koja mrzi religiju ovo može doći ili kao veliko otrježnjenje ili je navesti na još veće otvrdnuću srca. Nije dobilo najvišu ocjenu jer se nekim stvarima nije bavio koliko bih ja željela, a što i sam priznaje. Meni je baš nedostajalo više ulaska u samu vjeru, ali smatram da je to ovoj knjizi baš svojstvenu i da je zato vrijedna, jer gotovo da piše povijest svijeta i kulture na novi način. Što je i bila Chestertonova namjera na neki način.

  28. 4 out of 5

    S©aP

    Lettura complessa, per la quale è necessario possedere, in egual misura, una profonda onestà intellettuale, una sana libertà di pensiero, un'inclinazione al ragionamento filosofico realmente libera da pregiudizio e la capacità rara di accettare interesse e meraviglia. Libro scoppiettante, prodotto di un intelletto fervido e facondo. La capacità logica dell'uomo, stupefacente, sottende una linearità di ragionamento affilata, velocissima, cui si unisce una gaiezza di fondo non comune. Non restarne Lettura complessa, per la quale è necessario possedere, in egual misura, una profonda onestà intellettuale, una sana libertà di pensiero, un'inclinazione al ragionamento filosofico realmente libera da pregiudizio e la capacità rara di accettare interesse e meraviglia. Libro scoppiettante, prodotto di un intelletto fervido e facondo. La capacità logica dell'uomo, stupefacente, sottende una linearità di ragionamento affilata, velocissima, cui si unisce una gaiezza di fondo non comune. Non restarne affascinati è quasi impossibile. **** A complex reading, for which a profound intellectual honesty is necessary, together with a healthy freedom of thought, an inclination to philosophical speculation, free from prejudice, and the rare ability to accept interest and wonder. A crackling book; the product of a fervent and profound intellect. The amazing logical capacity of the man underlies a very fast and sharp linearity of reasoning, joined to a non-common background gaiety. Not being fascinated is almost impossible.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    I've read over a dozen books by Chesterton, but The Everlasting Man was one of the toughest to get through. Written as a rebuttal to H.G. Wells An Outline of History, Chesterton wrote the book to refute the idea that man is merely a part of the animal kingdom and that Jesus Christ was just an influential teacher. Unfortunately the first half on the development of man and religion is quite a slog. If you can hang on until the chapter on the incarnation, "God in the Cave," you will be richly reward I've read over a dozen books by Chesterton, but The Everlasting Man was one of the toughest to get through. Written as a rebuttal to H.G. Wells An Outline of History, Chesterton wrote the book to refute the idea that man is merely a part of the animal kingdom and that Jesus Christ was just an influential teacher. Unfortunately the first half on the development of man and religion is quite a slog. If you can hang on until the chapter on the incarnation, "God in the Cave," you will be richly rewarded with G.K.'s insights into the first Christmas and into the incarnation. Some of it is simply astonishing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    Chesterton's answer to "An outline of history" by H.G.Wells. The fact that almost nobody is reading now Wells's Outline (while his SF novels are very well known), but "The everlasting man" is a classic, indicates that Chesterton was successful. In this -the fourth time I have read the book- I have annotated nine additional quotations. One of them seems to me slightly incorrect: in Part 1 Ch.4, he writes that the Jews "returned to their mountain city by the Zionist policy of the Persian conqueror Chesterton's answer to "An outline of history" by H.G.Wells. The fact that almost nobody is reading now Wells's Outline (while his SF novels are very well known), but "The everlasting man" is a classic, indicates that Chesterton was successful. In this -the fourth time I have read the book- I have annotated nine additional quotations. One of them seems to me slightly incorrect: in Part 1 Ch.4, he writes that the Jews "returned to their mountain city by the Zionist policy of the Persian conquerors." I don't think Cyrus's policy can be called Zionism. On the one hand, Zionism is a twentieth century label; on the other, Cyrus gave permission to different exiled people in Babylonia to get back to their original territory and rebuild their temples, not just the Jews. But this is a minor point.

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