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Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark: A social scientist who begged to differ with the “distinguished bigots” on faith and science

Social scientist Rodney Stark offers an alternative to the Sunday magazine truisms about the relationship between Christianity and science: The basis for much of the antipathy toward Christianity is the image of the medieval Catholic Church fostered by “distinguished bigots,” as Stark calls Edward Gibbon and Voltaire among other Enlightenment notables. Stark, relying on primary source historians like the renowned Marc Bloch, shows, on the contrary, that medieval Catholicism was the breeding ground for modernity. Most, if not all, ancient societies believed in fate. However, Yahweh gave humans the wondrous and terrifying attribute of free will, freedom. Individual freedom in the West then merged with the legacy of Athenian democracy and the Roman republican tradition to form “the new democratic Read More ›