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What Has Christianity Ever Done for the West?

sistine

As Christmas and the holiday season draw near, it is time to take a pause and think deeply about the benefits that Christianity, particularly Catholicism, has conferred upon Western civilization. As a non-Westerner and non-Christian who has no ax to grind in this issue, I believe I can offer a fairly objective assessment of the impact that Christian ideas (some of which had pagan/Jewish precedents) have had on the evolution of Western civilization and their key role in the West’s spectacular... Read More

Bart Ehrman’s Botched Source

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Filed under History

Bart Ehrman

Atheist scholar Bart Ehrman is a smart guy, but he sometimes handles his sources in the most frustrating and misleading manner. For example, in his 2012 book Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (where he is on the right side for once), he writes: Several significant studies of literacy have appeared in recent years showing just how low literacy rates were in antiquity.   The most frequently cited study is by Columbia professor William Harris in a book titled... Read More

Philosophy in the Eyes of Theologians: Friend or Foe? (Part 3 of 3)

Adelard

NOTE: Today we conclude our three part series from Tamer Nashef on the relationship between philosophy and theology. Tamer's previous piece at Strange Notions, "I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church", remains one of our all-time most popular posts.     The third and last segment of the essay will shed light on the brilliant theologians of the cathedral schools and 12th-century Renaissance. The theologians in question include Peter Abelard, Adelard of... Read More

Philosophy in the Eyes of Theologians: Friend or Foe? (Part 2 of 3)

Boethius

NOTE: Today we continue our three part series from Tamer Nashef on the relationship between philosophy and theology. Tamer's previous piece at Strange Notions, "I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church", remains one of our all-time most popular posts.     The first part of the essay set forth the attitude of the Christian theologians of Late Antiquity toward reason and pagan philosophy. We noted that they viewed reason and philosophy as “handmaidens”... Read More

Philosophy in the Eyes of Theologians: Friend or Foe? (Part 1 of 3)

SchoolAthens

NOTE: Today we begin a three part series from Tamer Nashef on the relationship between philosophy and theology. Tamer's previous piece at Strange Notions, titled "I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church", remains one of our all-time most popular posts.     This three-part essay sets out to explore the complex yet fascinating relation between Christianity (particularly Catholicism) and faith on the one hand and reason and philosophy on the other. It is commonplace... Read More

Is Religion Evil? Secularism’s Pride and Irrational Prejudice

ReligiousWar

The common wisdom in many circles (most located in certain cities on the East and Left Coasts) is that religion, in general, is a bad thing, and that in the hands of "fundamentalists," the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and ultra-super-radical-Islamic terrorists, it is inevitably evil. Eliminating religion, it is then suggested or even openly argued, is a sure way to rid the world of evil. The term "religion," it should be noted, almost always refers to Christianity (or a form of pseudo-Christianity)... Read More

I’m a Muslim But Here’s Why I Admire the Catholic Church

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

First, allow me to start this short article with what might be deemed a startling confession: I am not a Catholic, nor am I even a Christian. In fact, I am a secular Muslim and an avid reader of philosophy and history with an unswerving commitment to the unmitigated truth no matter where it is even, nay especially, if it runs counter to commonly held beliefs. I have spent the last few years researching the history of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, and... Read More

Galileo was Right—But So Were His Critics

Graney

Ever since the seventeenth century, the celebrated “Galileo affair” has been one of the featured items on the list of dark moments in the history of Catholicism. That the Church mistreated the Italian astronomer—or at least misjudged his claims concerning the structure of the solar system—seems clear. Pope John Paul II, for example, apologized for the Church’s condemnation of Galileo in 1992. No one now disputes the fact that the earth revolves around the sun rather than the... Read More

Is the Catholic Church a Force for Good?

Church

Western civilization is greatly indebted to the Catholic Church. Modern historical studies—such as Dr. Thomas E. Woods' How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization—have demonstrated with force and clarity that it is the Catholic Church who has been the primary driving force behind the development and progress of the civilized world. The Church has provided innumerable 'goods' for the benefit of humanity. Nonetheless, modern critics assert that no amount of good could outweigh... Read More

Dark Ages and Secularist Rages: A Response to Professor A.C. Grayling

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Filed under Culture, History

AC Grayling

A few years ago, Professor A.C. Grayling, professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, wrote a column titled "The persistence of the faithful" in The Guardian. Grayling's column was ostensibly concerned with the apparent decision of the British government passing the "Equality Act," which would make it law that adoption agencies, including those run by the Catholic Church, would have to allow homosexual couples to use their adoption services. But Grayling's... Read More

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