Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind

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Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind

Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind

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Like dust particles so fine as to be invisible…they were breathed in equally by everyone: believers, atheists, and those who never paused so much as to think about religion. or would he simply shrug his shoulders, agree with Nietzsche, but accept that he is a slave to to his Christian culture? Samuel Moyn, writing for the Financial Times, similarly stated that "Holland shines in his panoramic survey of how disruptive Christianity was for the ethical and political assumptions that preceded it", though also criticizing how "the illustration of the conquest of the west by Christianity risks becoming so total that it explains everything and nothing. Thomas Cajetan appointed head of the Dominicans was shocked to think that a Christian ruler should think to justify conquest and savagery in the name of a crucified Christ. Yet Holland is surely right to argue that when we condemn the moral obscenities committed in the name of Christ, it is hard to do so without implicitly invoking his own teaching.

this argument — that everything Nice in our contemporary world derives from Christian values, and everything Nasty in the actual history of Christendom was just a regrettable diversion from the true Christian path — seems to me to run dangerously close to apologetic". Tom Holland has previously written several historical studies on Rome, Greece, Persia and Islam, including Rubicon, Persian Fire, and In the Shadow of the Sword. The canon law argued that a matching principle that the poor had an entitlement to the necessities of life. For Cajetan, the teachings of the Church were universal in their reach; Christianity should be imposed not by force but solely by persuasion; that neither kings nor emperors nor the Church itself had any right to ordain their conquest.Recommended to anyone looking to get a new perspective on how western culture was and continues to be this day shaped by a death of a single man in a remote backwater of the Roman empire in the year 786 ab urbe condita. Holland shows how these concepts and events continue to shape our culture, our expectations and norms today, without us realizing where they actually come from. Holland cites the example of Band Aid/Live Aid in response to the Ethiopia famine -biblical in proportion-as embodying the Christian message that charity should be offered to the needy, to strangers in foreign lands as much as next door neighbours. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association prize, awarded to ‘the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome’. The account is peppered with particularity — anecdotes, human portraits and the traces left on the landscape by vanished civilisations, all conveyed in lyrical, vivid language. The author on occasion does some myth-busting and makes a retelling of well known historical events (such as the Galileo debacle) with more context. Tom Holland’s gist is that an awful lot of the things we hold to be self-evident in terms of human rights and values — the equality of man (and woman), our solidarity with the weak against the strong, the displacement of religious law by the law of love —squarely derive from the life and teachings of Christ and their subsequent application to our way of looking at the world by his followers, starting with that cultivated and brilliant Jew, St Paul. A further point of interest was how the Jewish community in Prussia modified their identification with a Jewish nation to that of Jewishness as a religion a fact which was enforced upon them by Prussan regulations.And he does so in an extremely interesting and readable manner, picking his historical periods and personages very judiciously to illustrate his thesis. Jonathan Sumption, writing for The Spectator, opined the book was "sustained with all the breadth, originality and erudition that we have come to associate with Holland’s writing. It was released to positive reviews, although some historians and philosophers objected to some of Holland's conclusions.



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