The pessimistic philos. of hist. presumes that human events have no pattern and reveal no control or concern of God. The humanistic philos. of hist. concerns itself with human events as reflections of human personality and/or groups (the hero dominant; sociological theories of hist.). The Christian philos. of hist. views God as dominant in human affairs, controlling and moving all things for His purposes. On the material level, God is concerned with preservation of the human race, with dispersion of peoples over the globe, with their protection by govt., and with human institutions. On the spiritual level, God uses hist. to keep man aware of his need for God; its misfortunes and disasters can be regarded as chastisements designed to turn man to God. Thus the Christian sees not only the pleasurable and beneficent events and trends of hist. but also, in its disasters and horrors, the hand of God seeking out man that He might glorify him by humbling him. In this philos. of hist. the greatest event is that in which God has intervened most directly to reveal His love to man, namely, the incarnation and redemption of Jesus Christ. All other events of hist., in the economy of God's design, have only the function of turning men to Christ before the end of time. RRC
O. Piper, God in History (New York, 1939); Philosophy and History: A Symposium, ed. S. Hook (New York, 1963); J. Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, ed. J. W. Evans (New York, 1957); E. Kahler, The Meaning of History (New York, 1964); W. H. Dray, Philosophy of History (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1964); A. C. Danto, Analytical Philosophy of History (Cambridge, 1965); S. Kracauer, History: The Last Things Before the Last (New York, 1969); P. Gardiner, The Nature of Historical Explanation (New York, 1968).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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