This is a difficult, intellectually demanding, densely packed book, often over-powering in its scholarly brilliance, slightly portentous, sometimes obscure. It attempts a philosophy of history and presumably a way out of the Western dilemma wherein our belief in the will is as strong as our belief in causality. It knocks off the Wells-Spengler-Toynbee triumvirate, liberal-progressive cliches, and modern day leftist polemics- all modern thought is leftist, according to the author. The intricate interrelationship of classical, Levantine and European cultures becomes its three pronged peg, then the problems of ethics reduced to ""survival"" moralities, a Biblical exegesis, the origins of Christianity and the Logos-Jesus, Aristotelian science, Arabic contributions, Carolingian conquest, utopianism, the 13th and 14th century mathematicians and physicists as the progenitors of the empirical tradition, the Renaissance and the Reformation movements each seeking authority for its revolt in the tradition of the early Levant, but neither knowing that this was their authority, misunderstandings about the rise and spread of Protestantism- all this, and much more, fill out the many, many pages, in what appears to be the first part of a bulky undertaking. Overstuffed, in some sections, oddly starved on others, this is an ultra de-luxe, if quasi-enigmatic, education.