bearing false witness debunking centuries of anti catholic history

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Bearing False Witness

Author : Rodney Stark
ISBN : 9781599474991
Genre : Religion
File Size : 47. 40 MB
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As we all know and as many of our well established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called "Hitler's Pope," the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth? In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example, Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for "imaginary" crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice. Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, "Hitler's Pope," Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war. Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church's power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the "Dark Ages" was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of "Enlightenment." In the end, readers will not only have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church, they will come to understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.

Bearing False Witness

Author : Rodney Stark
ISBN : 9781599475004
Genre : Religion
File Size : 40. 46 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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As we all know and as many of our well established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called “Hitler’s Pope,” the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth? In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example, Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for “imaginary” crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice. Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, “Hitler’s Pope,” Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war. Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church’s power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the “Dark Ages” was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of “Enlightenment.” In the end, readers will not only have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church, they will come to understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.

Church Of Spies

Author : Mark Riebling
ISBN : 9780465061556
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 3 MB
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The Vatican’s silence in the face of Nazi atrocities remains one of the great controversies of our time. History has accused wartime pontiff Pius the Twelfth of complicity in the Holocaust and dubbed him “Hitler’s Pope.” But a key part of the story has remained untold. Pius ran the world’s largest church, smallest state, and oldest spy service. Saintly but secretive, he skimmed from church charities to pay covert couriers, and surreptitiously tape-recorded his meetings with top Nazis. When he learned of the Holocaust, Pius played his cards close to his chest. He sent birthday cards to Hitler—while secretly plotting to kill him. Church of Spies documents this cloak and dagger intrigue in shocking detail. Gun-toting Jesuits stole blueprints to Hitler’s homes. A Catholic book publisher flew a sports plane over the Alps with secrets filched from the head of Hitler’s bodyguard. The keeper of the Vatican crypt ran a spy ring that betrayed German war plans and wounded Hitler in a briefcase bombing. The plotters made history in ways they hardly expected. They inspired European unification, forged a U.S.-Vatican alliance that spanned the Cold War, and challenged Church teachings on Jews. Yet Pius’ secret war muted his public response to Nazi crimes. Fearing that overt protest would impede his covert actions, he never spoke the “fiery words” he wanted. Told with heart-pounding suspense, based on secret transcripts and unsealed files, Church of Spies throws open the Vatican’s doors to reveal some of the most astonishing events in the history of the papacy. The result is an unprecedented book that will change perceptions of how the world’s greatest moral institution met the greatest moral crisis in history.

Four Witnesses

Author : Rod Bennett
ISBN : 0898708478
Genre : Religion
File Size : 84. 86 MB
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What was the early Church like? Contrary to popular belief, Rod Bennett shows there is a reliable way to know. Four ancient Christian writers--four witnesses to early Christianity --left us an extensive body of documentation on this vital subject, and this book brings their fascinating testimony to life for modern believers. With all the power and drama of a gripping novel, this book is a journey of discovery of ancient and beautiful truths through the lives of four great saints of the early Church--Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus of Lyons.

After The Natural Law

Author : John Lawrence Hill
ISBN : 9781621640172
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 53. 15 MB
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The "natural law" worldview developed over the course of almost two thousand years beginning with Plato and Aristotle and culminating with St. Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. This tradition holds that the world is ordered, intelligible and good, that there are objective moral truths which we can know and that human beings can achieve true happiness only by following our inborn nature, which draws us toward our own perfection. Most accounts of the natural law are based on a God-centered understanding of the world. After the Natural Law traces this tradition from Plato and Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and then describes how and why modern philosophers such as Descartes, Locke and Hobbes began to chip away at this foundation. The book argues that natural law is a necessary foundation for our most important moral and political values – freedom, human rights, equality, responsibility and human dignity, among others. Without a theory of natural law, these values lose their coherence: we literally cannot make sense of them given the assumptions of modern philosophy. Part I of the book traces the development of natural law theory from Plato and Aristotle through the crowning achievement of Thomas Aquinas. Part II explores how modern philosophers have systematically chipped away at the only coherent foundation for these values. As a result, our most important moral and political ideals today are incoherent. Modern political and moral thinkers have been led either to dilute the meaning of such terms as freedom or the moral good – or abandon these ideas altogether. Thus, modern philosophy and political thought are leading us either toward anarchy or totalitarianism. The conclusion, entitled "Why God Matters", shows how even the philosophical assumptions of the natural law depend on a personal God.

Taking Rites Seriously

Author : Francis J. Beckwith
ISBN : 9781107112728
Genre : Law
File Size : 35. 5 MB
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This book is a critical look at how courts, legal scholars, and the academic culture mischaracterize and misunderstand religious beliefs.

The Apostasy That Wasn T The Extraordinary Story Of The Unbreakable Early Church

Author : Rod Bennett
ISBN : 1941663494
Genre : Religion
File Size : 25. 39 MB
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The theory goes like this: Just a few centuries after Christ's death, around the time the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, the true Faith suffered a catastrophic falling-away, so obscured by worldliness and pagan idolatry, kicking off the Dark Ages of Catholicism, that Christianity required a complete reboot. This theory is popular]] but it's also fiction. This idea of a "Great Apostasy" is one of the cornerstones of American Protestantism, along with Mormonism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and even Islam. Countless millions today profess a faith built on the assumption that the early Church quickly became broken beyond repair, and needed restoration to the "pure" teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Amid imperial intrigue, military menace, and bitter theological debate, a hero arises in the form of a homely little monk named Athanasius, who stands against the world to prove that there could never be a Great Apostasybecause Jesus promised his Church would never be broken With the touch of a master storyteller, Rod Bennett narrates the drama of the early Church's fight to preserve Christian orthodoxy, while powerful forces try to smash it.

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