Yesterday we blogged about the revival of animism, as practiced by pre-modern tribal cultures. The day before that we discussed a medical school oath in which future doctors pledged to honor “indigenous healing practices.”
We generally think of ourselves and our modern society in terms of “progress.” From our earliest days, we have “advanced” to ever higher levels. Scholars in the 19th century studied how we have “evolved” from a “primitive” state to higher and higher forms of “civilization.”
We don’t have to buy into the evolutionary assumptions of that kind of scholarship, nor do we have to denigrate our earlier stages, but there would seem to be some truth to that paradigm. For example, it would seem to hold true for our technological development. And certainly the history of the West is one of continual change, which has, for the most part, meant an improvement of human life.