Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

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