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Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

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‘Through the Eye of A Needle’ by Peter Brown

Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the making of Christianity, 350-550 A.D.

by Ferdinand III


 

 

Western Europe developed civilisation within the cultural ethos of Christianity.  Why? How did a small, persecuted sect of former Jews and some gentiles take over the Roman empire?  How did Christianity wipe out the hundreds of instantiations of pagan cultic practices?  Peter Brown researches an essential element of history.  We take for granted that Western Europe was Christian.  We rarely ask why and how?

 

Christianity was not promoted through Jihad, war, violence and rapine, as with the cult of Muhammad.  It was not promulgated and made popular through official diktat and imperial decrees (quite the opposite for 300 years), though Constantine’s conversion around 312 A.D. certainly helped.  As Peter Brown relates in this excellent book, Christianity spread because of its morality, its functionality and exclusiveness, its miracles, its evangelising especially with Paul, its mouth-to-mouth marketing and person to person conversion; and its civilising mission which was an organised, rational approach to the immaterial and God.  Christianity was by the 3rd century simply viewed as superior and pagans converted to the Christian church in such numbers that eventually the Roman empire, with or without Constantine’s conversion, would have been Christianised.  This is the central argument Peter Brown puts forward.

 

It is a long book, in small print, over 500 pages in length and with 200 pages of sources, footnotes and an index.  It is worth every minute to read and ponder.  Peter Brown is an excellent writer, organiser of facts and themes, and he connects disparate personalities including Paulinus of Nola and St. Augustine of Hippo, along with many other characters and real-world socio-economic events, along with ideas of ‘wealth’ and its relationship to power to map out his main ideas, which include inter-alia:

 

1-The political, social, and economic changes which took place from 500-650 A.D. were absolutely decisive for the dominance by Christianity, of Western European culture and society.

 

2-Gradually over about 500 years (from the time of Christ to 500 A.D.), notions about wealth, its generation, its usage to expiate sin and help the poor, and the utility of money to guarantee the salvation of the soul, transformed much of the West and its moral outlook.

 

3-The process of European Christianisation was gradual and quite at risk, there never was until the 4th century, a certainty that the followers of Christ would survive as a group, let alone dominate an empire.

 

4-By 312 and the conversion of Constantine, the Church had grown to encompass perhaps 10% of the 60-100 million population within the Roman empire, but it had not become ‘wealthy’.  It was the new entry of wealth and talent into the Church after 370 A.D. that made such a profound impact on society, including church building, monasteries, the merging of political power with Bishopric responsibility, literacy and even the provision of hospital care. 

 

5-Many sects of Roman pagans had long believed in one ‘Great God’ as well many lesser Gods or demiurges.  The Christian ideal of monotheism was not new for many.  The use of angels and archangels within the Christian ecclesiastical doctrine would also have seemed familiar.  It was thus not a great leap for a pagan to become a Christian. 

 

6-A significant benefit of becoming Christian was the complete eradication of cultic practices to various gods which took up time and money and which included sacrifices, divination and public displays of pagan piety.  Christianity and its organised, exclusive approach, simplified the worship of God and ended all sacrifices, including human as well as (eventually) human enslavement. 

 

7-The demise of Rome during the 5th century, led to some fairly radical reappraisals of wealth and its usage, along with the power and political structures used to generate and manage such wealth, outside and inside the Church.  There was in effect a reordering of society as Roman central governance, collapsed.  The Church picked up the pieces and married Roman secular law and customs with that of Christianity. 

 

8-As the aristocracy in the 5th century collapsed, the transfer of wealth, power and embedded literacy shifted to the Church, presaging a shift in social and economic structuring.  During the 6th century this new pattern of social organisation and use of wealth, from both the elite and the laity to fund Church projects, poor relief, monasteries and cultural demands and morality, became solidified and provided the basis for the rise of the medieval Church.

 

The rise of Christianity in Western Europe and its complete subjugation of pagan rivals was never a foreordained conclusion and seemed rather improbable around 100 A.D. when maybe 2-3% of the Roman population was Christian.  Christianity was moral and stringently ethical, miraculous, powerful, elegant, rational, open, and able to subsume many pagan practices within Church dogma, to facilitate an exclusive but remarkably dynamic socio-cultural traditions, within a unified and organised institution.  The pagans had nothing to rival this determined and pragmatic approach to religion. 


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1/22/2022:  ‘Through the Eye of A Needle’ by Peter Brown

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11/14/2021:  The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200–1000. Peter Brown.

10/4/2021:  Henri Pirenne: Mohammed and Charlemagne

8/8/2021:  The New World Order, by A. Ralph Epperson

3/20/2021:  Bearing False Witness, by Rodney Stark, #2.

3/17/2021:  Bearing False Witness, by Rodney Stark, #1.

2/5/2021:  ‘Slavery, Terrorism and Islam’ by Peter Hammond

1/27/2021:  Emmet Scott 'The Impact of Islam' and the mythical Golden Age of Muhammadan Spain

1/24/2021:  The Impact of Islam, by Emmet Scott (part two)

1/20/2021:  The Impact of Islam, by Emmet Scott (part one)

10/16/2020:  The Age of Plunder, by W. G. Hoskins

9/8/2020:  The Glory of the Crusades, Steve Weidenkopf (2014)

8/5/2020:  C.S. Lewis and 'The Abolition of Man' by Steve Turley

12/18/2019:  The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Spencer

12/11/2019:  Islam: Religion of Peace?: The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up, Fr. Portella

11/25/2019:  2030: Your Children's Future in Islamic Britain, by David Vincent

2/24/2016:  Morris Bishop, 'The Middle Ages'

8/18/2015:  Dr. Robert Morey, 'Islam Unveiled' – The Real Desert Storm

8/16/2015:  R. A. Morey, 'Islam Unveiled', 1991

1/18/2015:  Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination, by Stefan Ihrig

11/28/2014:  The poorly named Enlightenment - James Hitchcock, History of the Catholic Church

11/27/2014:  Michael Coren's 'Hatred: Islam's war against Christianity' Read it.

11/14/2014:  Michael Coren: 'Hatred; Islam's war on Christianity'. Stating the obvious.

11/11/2014:  Collins and Christian-Catholic Culture in the West

11/4/2014:  The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, the Creation of Europe in the 10th Century P. Collins

7/25/2014:  James Hitchcock, The History of the Catholic Church

7/19/2014:  William Muir, 1868, 'Life of Mahomet' - the madness revealed

6/30/2014:  Garwood: 'Flat Earth' - a belief only held by atheists and evolutionists

3/25/2014:  John Freely: 'Before Galileo', Diophantus to Bradwardine, review 2

3/15/2014:  Book Review: John Freely and 'Before Galileo'

2/19/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick (2)

2/18/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick

6/28/2013:  Raymond Ibrahim 'Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians'

4/24/2013:  Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel

4/21/2013:  Robert Spencer: 'Moslem Persecution of Christians'

4/13/2013:  Book Review: Islam: Evil in the name of God

3/31/2013:  The Triumph of the Risen. The Truth of Christianity.

1/12/2013:  Book Review 2: God and Reason In the Middle Ages, by Edward Grant

1/7/2013:  Book Review 1: God and Reason In the Middle Ages, by Edward Grant

1/3/2013:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

12/17/2012:  Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity, by Michael Coren

12/10/2012:  Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White Jr., Oxford Press, 1968

11/29/2012:  Book Review: Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America, Kenneth Timmerman

11/28/2012:  Book Review: Islamophobia, by Robert Spencer.

11/25/2012:  Part 2: The Gies' - Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel, Review

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11/13/2012:  Book: The cult of the Moon God, by Brian Wilson

10/31/2012:  Review 2: Islam Dismantled, Sujit Das, Ali Sina

10/29/2012:  Book Review 1: Islam Dismantled by Sujit Das, Ali Sina

9/22/2012:  Book Review: Michael Coren, 'Why Catholics are Right'.

9/3/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part Two

8/29/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part One

6/12/2012:  Book Review: Poitiers AD 732, Charles Martel turns the Islamic tide. David Nicolle.

6/6/2012:  Review 2: Diane Moczar, Islam at the Gates, How Christendom defeated the Ottoman Turks

5/31/2012:  Review 1: Diane Moczar, Islam at the Gates, How Christendom defeated the Ottoman Turks

5/26/2012:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

4/13/2012:  Review, Emmet Scott: 'Mohammed and Charlemagne'

4/10/2012:  Henri Pirenne, 'Mohammed and Charlemagne' – Part 2

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1/29/2012:  Andrew Wheatcroft's, 'The Enemy at the Gate'

1/22/2012:  Book Review: Defenders of the Faith, by James Reston Jr.

1/11/2012:  Book Review: Norman Berdichevsky, 'The Left is not always Right'

12/10/2011:  Book Review, Nigel Cliff's 'Holy War' – good but flawed.

11/7/2011:  'How Civilizations Die', D. P. Goldman, 2011, 270 pgs.

9/29/2011:  Book Review: Bynum's 'Allah is Dead'

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8/13/2011:  Malise Ruthven, 'Islam in the World' and the Kabaa-Hajj paganism.

8/12/2011:  EJ Brill and the Ka'ba

8/11/2011:  F.E. Peters and the pagan origins of the Kabaa Shrine

7/14/2011:  Benjamin Walker, Foundations of Islam: The Making of a World Faith 

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4/6/2011:  Martin Gilbert: 'In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands', part 2.

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3/31/2011:  Book Review: Susan Bauer, 'The History of the Medieval World'

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3/11/2011:  Alan Dershowitz's: 'The Case for Israel.'

3/5/2011:  Leaving Islam, by Ibn Warraq

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2/12/2011:  Review: D. S. Margoliouth, 'The Early Development of Mohammedanism', 1913.

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2/22/2010:  Book Review: 'Defeating Political Islam' by Moorthy Muthuswamy

2/13/2010:  'Holy Warriors' – the Arab devastation of the Mediterranean

2/10/2010:  Henri Pirenne and why the 'Dark Ages' occurred.

2/20/2009:  Book Review: 'The Great Arab Conquests', by Hugh Kennedy.

1/22/2009:  Book Review - 'Chasing a Mirage' by Tarek Fatah. [2008, Wiley and Son, 410 pages.]

6/15/2008:  Book Review: 'Islamic Imperialism – A History.' By Efraim Karsh.

1/7/2008:  Book Review: Ed Husain, 'The Islamist'

11/22/2007:  Book Review: 'The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy', by Walid Phares

10/16/2007:  Robert Spencer's superb book: 'Religion of Peace: Why Christianity is and Islam isn't'

9/21/2007:  Book Review: 'Infidel' by Ayaan Hirsi Ali- a Somalian-Dutch Muslim Apostate

5/2/2007:  Book Review: Islam The Arab Imperialism, By Anwar Shaikh

4/9/2007:  Book Review: ‘Religion of Peace? Islam’s War Against the World’, by G.M. Davis

2/12/2007:  Book review – ‘The Truth about Mohammad’, by Robert Spencer

2/11/2007:  Book review of 'Because they hate' by Brigitte Gabriel