In the social sciences, there is a field called Social Change.Â Courses are taught in this field. Scholarly papers are written.
The field deals with topics the average lay person knows a lot about.Â Why do certain attitudes or ideas take root in society and grow?Â Why do others not take root.Â This can be about political ideas, tastes in art or the moral values we hold.
Back in the 1950’s college courses about the phenomenon were taught in Colleges of Agriculture.Â This was because new ideas about farming were coming out, chemicals, crop rotation and soÂ on, andÂ these Colleges were looking at ways to convince farmers to accept them.Â Â
The field is more complicated today, but one thing is sure.Â There is always change going on.Â Individual groups may freeze their valuesÂ for periods of time, but the attitudes, values and tastes of societies just keep moving on.
Do you suppose this is an ancient thing?Â In prehistoric times,Â did attitudes just moving along as they have since we haveÂ begun to record them?
WeÂ don’t know everything about these societies.Â We do knowÂ that societies moved around alot.Â They made a living in different ways and ate different food as the millions of years passed.Â Â Our contemporary study of “premative” people finds them with many different religous beliefs andÂ moral values.Â Based on this,Â it would be reasonable to surmise that social change was taking place in human societies all along.Â
What about the period of the Bible.Â The Christian Bible’s main character, Jesus, is creditedÂ with changing the course of history with his admonition to love one another and so on.Â The Bible’s narrative is that he was takingÂ different positions than those of the establishment at the time.
But, did his words reflect the views of most ordinary citizens of the time, or, were they new ideas to those people.Â That is, was social change taking place at the time, and Jesus’ views were merely a reflection of those changes, or, did he actually causeÂ changes?Â Since the Bible was written many years after the time he was supposed to have lived, we will never know.