Monday, May 17, 2010

Christianity and Myths of History

Patheos.com has an excellent interview with sociologist and historian Rodney Stark.  I recently read The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark. I recommend both the interview and the book.

In this interview Stark explains his thesis in The Victory of Reason:

"Christianity was the basis of western civilization. When you look at western civilization and see what it has, it came from Christianity. The notion that somehow western science broke through against the resistance of religion is total nonsense. Without the religious background, there wouldn't be any science, because the fundamental notion that separated the West from everybody else was the notion that God is rational and created a rational universe, so there were rules out there to be discovered. Nobody else looked for the rules, because they didn't believe they were there to be found. They didn't believe that the world had been created in the same rational way. The marvelous thing is that these early Christian scientists, including Newton, believed God had created a rational world, went ahead and looked for the rules of that rational world -- and darned if they didn't find them. In an interesting sense, it was a scientific confirmation of the Christian religion."

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