Christianity and the World

Essays Philosophical, Historical and Cultural

by Jack Kerwick

From the Introduction:

Illiteracy regarding Christianity’s impact upon the world is hardly limited to non-Christians. It is endemic throughout our culture. This mass ignorance is made that much more painful by the fact that, for the better part of the last two millennia, the collective consciousness of what is today known as Western civilization or “the West,” i.e. European civilization, has been informed by the religion of Christianity. Thus, for no small measure of this time the West was known by its own inhabitants and others simply as “Christendom.” Indeed, there is scarcely any aspect of our world, however unremarkable and mundane, that doesn’t bear the impress of its Christian pedigree. Scandalously, an ever-increasing number of Westerners, both Christian and non-Christian alike, seem to be unaware of this fact. Those who aren’t oblivious to their Christian inheritance are hostile to it. Yet they too are ignorant, for their antagonism toward it renders them blind to the debt owed by their own secular ideologies to the tradition that they despise. This book is intended as an antidote of sorts to the present condition. It is not meant to be read as an introduction to all things Christian, the equivalent of a “Christianity for Dummies” or “Christianity made simple.” Nor is it a work of theology or Biblical exegesis. This book targets an intellectually curious lay audience, it’s true. Its aim is to increase the reader’s understanding of Christianity by focusing on a select range of topics. It is my hope that familiarity with a Christian’s response to these issues will supply the reader with knowledge of Christian theism considered as a philosophy as well as an awareness of the ways in which Christianity has impacted, continues to impact, and is impacted by the world.


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Stairway Press

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