Medieval Christianity and the Rise of Science

I am currently reading, and very much enjoying, Rodney Stark's book The Victory of Reason. In the chapter I'm on right now, he attempts to show that, far from being a hindrance to the development of science, Christianity in the Middle Ages laid the groundwork without which science could not have developed.

"Not only were science and religion compatible, they were inseparable—the rise of science was achieved by deeply religious Christian scholars.”[1]

He explains why this is the case:

“The rise of science…was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: nature exists because it was created by God. In order to love and honor God, it is necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, it ought to be possible to discover these principles.

There were the crucial ideas that explain why science arose in Christian Europe and nowhere else.”[2]



[1] Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason (New York: Random House, 2005), 12.
[2] Ibid., 22-23.

Comments