World History as the History of Foundations, 3000 BCE to 1500 CE


In World History as the History of Foundations, 3000 BCE to 1500 CE, Michael Borgolte investigates the origins and development of foundations from Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages. In his survey foundations emerge not as mere legal institutions, but rather as “total social phenomena” which touch upon manifold aspects, including politics, the economy, art and religion of the cultures in which they emerged. Cross-cultural in its approach and the result of decades of research, this work represents by far the most comprehensive account of the history of foundations that has hitherto been published.

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Michael Borgolte, Ph.D. (1975), Humboldt-University of Berlin, is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History and Senior Researcher at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Amongst his many publications is: Christen, Juden, Muselmanen. Die Erben der Antike und der Aufstieg des Abendlandes, 300 bis 1400 n. Chr. (2006).
“This book covers an impressive temporal and geographic scope, beginning in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, while investigating an array of diverse religious traditions, including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, and Confucianism.” T. Anderson in CHOICE
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1 Religious Basis and Sovereign Practice: Intercultural Comparisons
1.1 Foundations for Gods and Ancestors
1.2 Foundations for Individuals after the Revolution of the Axial Age
 1.2.1 The Reevaluation of the Individual through Foundations in Ancient Egypt
 1.2.2 “Foundations for the Salvation of the Soul” in Zoroastrianism
 1.2.3 Genesis and Variations of Christian Foundations
 1.2.4 “Foundations for Nearness to God” in Islam
 1.2.5 Salvation for the Soul through Foundations in Judaism?
 1.2.6 Foundations for Merit and Temporal Salvation: Indian Religions
 1.2.7 Temporal Ethics without Divine Judgment: Confucianism and Daoism
1.3 Rulers as Founders and Policymakers of Foundations
 1.3.1 Pharaohs, “Kings of the Four Regions of the World” and Hellenistic Rulers Rulers of the Ancient Kingdoms on the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris From Cyrus the Persian to Alexander of Macedon Monarchical Euergetai An Autocrat as Founder in the Kingdom of the Commagene
 1.3.2 Foundations and State Formation in India
 1.3.3 Ancient Founders, a Cultural Breakthrough and Orthodox Christian Rulers Foundations in the Context of State Worship and Christian Congregations Byzantine Emperors as Leaders of the Church and Great Founders Monasteries, Emperors, Economies The Free Monasteries Sovereign Foundations in the Fragmentation and Spread of Orthodoxy
 1.3.4 Caliphs and Their Epigones: Foundations for the Support of the Community The Legal and Political Basis The Caliphs of Damascus and Baghdad as Founders Regional Rulers between al-Andalus and Iran
 1.3.5 Foundations Require Association: Latin Christian Kings and Princes Laypersons, Bishops and the Accumulation of Church Property Monasteries of “German” Kings from the 5th Century Onwards Irish Kings and Networks of Ascetics English Minsters between “Proprietary Churches” and “Foundations” Foundations in the Context of Carolingian Ecclesiastical Policy The Time of Strong Founders

2 Societal Development and Philanthropic Motivations: Diversification of the Actors and Purposes
2.1 China and India
2.2 Greece and Rome in Antiquity
2.3 Judaism and Muslim Lands
2.4 Greek Orthodox and Latin Christianity

3 A Transcultural Synthesis

 Abbreviations and Acronyms
All those interested in global history and the history of foundations.