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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These men are nationalist bigots, which suggests another sense in which Christianity can be subversive. He is the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and the Tragedy of the Roman Republic , which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize ; Persian Fire , his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award in 2006 ; Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom , a panoramic account of the two centuries on either side of the apocalyptic year 1000; In the Shadow of the Sword , which covers the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam; and Dynasty , a portrait of Rome's first imperial dynasty. It is an epic masterpiece of storytelling and scholarship which gives an objective picture of the Christian contribution to the development of how we view the world. So profound has been the impact of Christianity on the development of Western civilisation that it has come to be hidden from view.

In this way, both Catholics and atheists might together critique Holland and perhaps mischievously suggest that he is being influenced by his own Protestant background? It is particularly strong at the beginning, where Tom Holland plays to his strength as a historian with a strong knowledge of the classical period ( I enjoyed his discussion about ancient Persian civilization). When clergymen both black and white quoting the Africaaners most admired clergyman, that no possible backing for racial segregation was to be found in his writings but just the opposite, a hammer blow was dealt to the apartheid regime. Indeed, it could have been expanded to explain how Holland feels about the way he thinks as a non-Christian and how he reconciles that with the work of Nietzsche that he himself has commented on.Rather than unpack complex theological debates, the book gives us a series of vivid portraits of some key figures in Christian history: St Paul, St Augustine, Peter Abelard, Catherine of Siena, a former playboy known as Francis of Assisi and a host of more modern luminaries.

Holland claims that the multiple injustices suffered by marginalised individuals in recent years has created an awakening which has its origins in Christianity. The canon law argued that a matching principle that the poor had an entitlement to the necessities of life. Really interesting how Tom Holland details the rise of Christianity from a relatively minor religion to an international faith. The concept of human rights and equality, as well as solidarity with the weak against the strong, Holland argues, ultimately derive from the theology built on the teachings of Jesus and Paul the Apostle. If all men were equally redeemed by Christ and equally beloved of God, then there would no hierarchies or rank.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. It is the incomplete revolutions which are remembered; the fate of those which triumph is to be taken for granted. At first I gave this 3 stars as it was good but a bit all over the place (I had trouble with the jumps in logic throughout), then I thought a bit more about it and I gave it 4 stars as it made a good point and ultimately I agreed with the premise (even as an atheist, this was not difficult).

But those dismissive of religion, for which I have some sympathy, should understand that many of their valued concepts of equality, emancipation and liberalism originate in Christianity. Written with terrific learning, enthusiasm and good humour, Holland's book is not just supremely provocative, but often very funny * Sunday Times * A bravura swing through centuries of Western European history . Holland points out that Africaaner Churchmen had incorrectly interpreted Calvin’s position as potentially lending support to apartheid. A masterpiece of scholarship and storytelling, Dominion surpasses Holland's earlier books in its sweeping ambition and gripping presentation -- John Gray * New Statesman * [Holland encapsulates] so much, so intelligently and entertainingly, in a book that's fizzing with ideas -- Andrew Lycett * Mail on Sunday * I love the sweep of it * Sunday Telegraph * Tom Holland's stupendous new book .C. Grayling has rejected Holland's interpretation of Christianity's influence on modern morality, [21] [22] meeting Tom Holland for debate on the subject. He describes crucifixion as one of the most terrible deaths one can suffer, which must be true in general but if Jesus really did only spend six hours on the cross, as the New Testament reports, he was luckier than most victims, who thrashed around for days.



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