Few cultural phenomena were more historically ordained than the rise of sociology in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its emergence exemplified the enduring élan of the Renaissance and the profoundly creative momentum of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. The human mind had probed long unimaginable laws of nature that placed our earthly plot in a cosmic context. It was now ready to turn to a more daring, reflexive inquiry of its more immediate environment. The question echoed broadly: Is a “science of society” possible? Equally resonant was the answer: It is an unavoidable necessity to find out. Those who unfolded the sociological frontier were polymaths proudly familiar with the scientific questions of their times, carefully bred in the cultivating currents of the humane disciplines, vigorously fascinated by the momentous encounter between ancient institutions and the emerging paradigms that inescapably challenged them.