Historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee - October 2
- 2016 2 Oct
Historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee died OCTOBER 2, 1975. Providing foreign intelligence for the British, he was a delegate to the Paris Peace Conferences after World Wars I and II. Educated at Oxford "almost entirely in the Greek and Latin Classics," Toynbee taught at the King's College of London, the London School of Economics and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. His 12-volume "Study of History," 1934-1961, described the rise, flowering, and decline of 26 cultures, from Egypt, Greece and Rome to Polynesia and Peru. "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder," argued Toynbee, who saw religion as a prime motivation in history. "When I started, religion was not a prominent feature...In writing my study, I have been constantly surprised to find religion coming back to fill an even greater place." Toynbee continued: "So what does the universe look like?..It looks as if everything were on the move either toward its Creator or away from Him." Toynbee wrote: "The course of human history consists of a series of encounters...in which each man or woman or child...is challenged by God to make the free choice between doing God's will and refusing to do it. When Man refuses, he is free to make his refusal and to take the consequences."