Sunday, January 09, 2022


Christian Values

Tom Holland, Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World (New York: Basic Books, 2019), pp. 16-17:
The more years I spent immersed in the study of classical antiquity, so the more alien I increasingly found it. The values of Leonidas, whose people had practised a peculiarly murderous form of eugenics and trained their young to kill uppity Untermenschen by night, were nothing that I recognised as my own; nor were those of Caesar, who was reported to have killed a million Gauls, and enslaved a million more. It was not just the extremes of callousness that unsettled me, but the complete lack of any sense that the poor or the weak might have the slightest intrinsic value. Why did I find this disturbing? Because, in my morals and ethics, I was not a Spartan or a Roman at all. That my belief in God had faded over the course of my teenage years did not mean that I had ceased to be Christian. For a millennium and more, the civilisation into which I had been born was Christendom. Assumptions that I had grown up with — about how a society should properly be organised, and the principles that it should uphold — were not bred of classical antiquity, still less of 'human nature', but very distinctively of that civilisation's Christian past.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?