Chronos

The West Confronts Time

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Pub Date 27 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 04 Jan 2023

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Description

As omnipresent as it is ungraspable, time has always inspired and eluded attempts to comprehend it. For the early Christians, for the twenty-first-century world, how have past and future been woven into the present? In Chronos, a leading French historian ranges from Western antiquity to the Anthropocene, pinpointing the crucial turning points in our relationship to time.

François Hartog considers the genealogy of Western temporalities, examining the order of times and the divisions of time into epochs. Beginning with how the ancient Greeks understood time, Chronos explores the fashioning of a Christian time in the early centuries of the Catholic Church. Christianity’s hegemony over time reigned over Europe and beyond, only to ebb as modern time—progress—set out on its march toward the future. Hartog emphasizes the deep uncertainties the world now faces as we reckon with the arrival and significance of the Anthropocene age. Humanity has become capable of altering the climate, triggering in mere life spans changes that once took place across geological epochs. In this threatening new age, which has challenged all existing temporal constructions, what will become of the old ways of understanding time?

Intertwining reflections on intellectual history and historiography with critiques of contemporary presentism and apocalypticism, Chronos brings depth and erudition to debates over the nature of the era we are living through and offers keen insight into the experience of historical time.

François Hartog is a professor emeritus at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. His books in English include Regimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time (Columbia, 2015) and The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History (1988).

As omnipresent as it is ungraspable, time has always inspired and eluded attempts to comprehend it. For the early Christians, for the twenty-first-century world, how have past and future been woven...


A Note From the Publisher

Translated by S. R. Gilbert

S. R. Gilbert is a translator living in San Francisco..

Translated by S. R. Gilbert

S. R. Gilbert is a translator living in San Francisco..


Advance Praise

Chronos is a magisterial book, breathtaking in scope and precision. I cannot think of another historian who could have written this book in this way. François Hartog uniquely possesses the intellectual expertise and range to lead the reader through a sweeping history of the concept of time in the “West,” beginning with the Greeks in antiquity and ending with our current periodization of the Anthropocene. It is an important work on one of the most pressing topics of our day.”

— Ethan Kleinberg, author of Haunting History: For a Deconstructive Approach to the Past


Chronos is a magisterial book, breathtaking in scope and precision. I cannot think of another historian who could have written this book in this way. François Hartog uniquely possesses the...


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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780231203128
PRICE $35.00 (USD)

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