le 4 février 2011
I want to give this book to every history teacher in every high school in Ontario, Catholic and public. Thank God Thomas Woods has put together a compendium of Catholic achievements in civilizing the West. The members of the European Parliament would have done well to read this book prior to failing to recognize Christianity's singular contribution to Western Civilization in its consitution. As one observer of that process noted, Christianity was the software that drove Europe's hardware. A useful tonic to those who would reduce Catholicism's contribution to monks copying a few books!
Did you ever wonder what role the Catholic Church played in the development of Western Civilization? If so, "How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" has the answers you are seeking. Organized by topics, author Thomas Woods introduces the reader to how, without the Church, the civilization in which we have been formed could not have arisen. The reader learns how the Church was a light in the Dark Ages, which really were not so dark and were, in fact, periods of advancement. When the barbarian invasions destroyed the Roman world it was the monks who preserved its cultural treasures and developed agriculture and engineering on monastery lands and established a tradition of charity that transformed Europe.
A Church that is often assailed as an impediment to learning, science and beauty is shown as the founding force of the university system, the investigator of science and the patron of the arts and architecture. The reader comes to appreciate how the Church guided the evolution of International Law by examining the relationships between Christians and pagans, Europeans and other peoples. On these pages we read of how Catholic scholars presented economics long before Adam Smith and how the Catholic concept of charity would inspire conduct that was unthought-of in pre-Christian times. The Church's vision of the status of human beings and natural rights is what molded Western law and radically improved the role and status of woman. As the end of the tome approaches, Woods brings it all together with a study of how the morality by which we guide our lives was defined by the Church and how it shows us the impossibility of a universe without God.
This book is unrelenting in presenting its message and it is a message that will change your view of the world. Much of it consists of anecdotes and facts that support the premise contained in the title. It explains terms that we have heard but never understood. For me one such term was natural law. Every thinking reader of this book will find some insight that will hit you right between the eyes with the indispensability of the Church to the formation of the world that is as much a part of our environment as the air we breathe. One such thought that struck me is the concept that the Catholic integration of faith with reason teaches a God who, unlike the random actors of other faith traditions, establishes a world of order and laws. The belief in a world governed by order encourages humans looking for God to seek the order in His creation by delving into science. Why didn't I ever think of that? Fortunately I have Prof. Woods to point it out to me. This book is short but full of information and insights. Its rapid fire revelations never let the reader's interest wander. For anyone thirsting for an understanding of the history of Western Culture or the Church, or what we believe and why, will find their thirst quenched by this excellent book.
le 30 novembre 2013
Thomas Wood's provides a detailed survey of the historical Christian roots of modern science and education in Western culture and how the ideas spawned by Christianity advanced European civilization. He supports his points with copious footnotes to the sources. The book very accessible, written in non-academic language. The information in this book will be a revelation to any person raised in a Western/European country as Western Civilization has not been taught in schools for some 60 years. I have been reading other recent works on Western Civilization such as Ricardo Duchesne's "The Uniqueness of Western Civilization", and would recommend this book as a companion to this area of study. On its own, I would say this book would be beneficial for anyone exploring their European ethnicity and race. It is a good news story!
le 26 mai 2015
This book, together with The Second Greatest Story Ever Told by Michael E Gaitley, serve to remind contemporary culture of the real source of our way of life, which we take for granted. For those whose faith is bleeding away during the attack on religious belief these days, these books are a vital transfusion. For those who are patiently enduring, these texts are a fountain of salvation.