The Dark Side of Christian History

The Dark Side of Christian History - eBook
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Ellerbe's take is not that Christianity is evil in itself, but that monotheistic religion is flawed, and simply cannot produce positive results over the long haul. A monotheistic religion naturally leads humanity to the "dark side. She does, however, make some intriguing points and provide some graphic examples, not least of which is the treatment of accused witches, whose emphasis within the book is probably no coincidence. Though not clearly stated or so I didn't notice , Ellerbe's religious sympathies appear to lie that direction; she bemoans Christianity's "alienation from nature.

With the orthodox understanding that divinity had little or nothing to do with the physical world, sexual desire was perceived to be ungodly. When men persecuting the accused witches found themselves sexually aroused, they assumed that such desire emanated, not from themselves, but from the woman.

They attacked breasts and genitals with pincers, pliers and red-hot irons. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments.

The Dark Side of Christian History

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Deals extended! Get more time to score amazing savings. Shop now. Report incorrect product info or prohibited items. Helen Ellerbe. Book Format: eBook. Digital delivery to your. Walmart eBooks App. Sold by Kobo. After introducing the 'Age of Enlightenment,' she notes that, 'These new beliefs and attitudes mirrored those of orthodox Christianity.

As orthodox Christians believed there to be a division between heaven and earth, so scientists perceived there to be a similar division, coined by Descartes as that between mind and matter. As Christians believed God to be detached from the physical world, so scientists thought that consciousness and physical reality were detached from one another. Although orthodox Christianity and modern thinkers differed in their belief about the devil, both understood the physical world as a realm devoid of divinity and sanctity. Elsewhere, she notes that, 'Scientists and philosophers also embraced the concept of hierarchy and applied it to their work.

Hierarchical order requires all components to be separated and ranked according to their superiority or inferiority; if focuses upon a component's difference rather than upon its supportive relationship and connection to the whole. Scientists similarly focused upon the separation, isolation and analysis of increasingly smaller particles. Little attention was given to the relationship connecting a component to its surrounding elements or environment. Once people accepted that, it was not difficult to believe that God did not exist at all. But, as Ellerbe concludes, after the development of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, the scientific corroborations of Christian thought began to slip away.

The physical world is not composed of solid, inert, and inanimate matter as was thought in classical physics.

Ellerbe continues: 'As orthodox Christians understood God to be detached from the physical world, so Western medicine understood the workings of the human body to be disconnected from a person's mind or consciousness. The Dark Side of Christian History is not the last word, nor even the first word, on the crimes of the Church. Thankfully, today, most mainstream Christians accept scientific facts in many matters and Christian organisations have much reduced power to hinder research.

For a full discussion, see: Christianity v. Astronomy: The Earth Orbits the Sun! In , three new centres of learning were formed at Bologna Italy , Paris France and Oxford UK , and these Universities obtained Greek knowledge about the world via Arab translations 10 , 30 , allowing a smattering of worldly knowledge to persist, marked by many as the slow beginning of the Renaissance rebirth of European intellectual development.

But they had to walk a fine line to avoid irritating the Roman Catholic Church, which had eradicated so many centres of learning over the previous thousand years. Italian scholars quickly seized on the works of the ancient philosophers, which dealt with questions not answered by the Christian Church. From this came humanism , the belief that man, and not God, controlled his own fate. But as the Reformation began and the abuses of the Catholic Church were effectively resisted by the Protestant movement, the resulting bloodshed and wars bear the familiar stamp of Dark-Ages mentality on both sides of the conflict.

It all began with Martin Luther:. This began a year struggle that has been Europe 's longest and bloodiest power shift, in which half of Europe left the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church responded with its own Reformation, called the Counter Reformation, centered around the decisions and canons of the Council of Trent which met between and That both sides considered themselves Christian did not temper the bloodshed. On August 24, , for example, in what is known as the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, 10, Protestants were slaughtered in France.

The hope that led to the Enlightenment grew from this taste of volitional freedom. Thankfully the process of secularisation has diminished the strength of religion across the West , and since the Enlightenment, when religious institutions started to lose control of public life. The wave of change finally broke in France during the revolution, where " the total abolition of The era of rationalism and secularism had dawned: policies, governance and equality were to be based on sensible thinking and citizens were to be treated fairly without prejudice based on a their religion.

One of the most important lessons to learn from the Dark Ages is that we must never allow belief systems to go unquestioned and unchallenged. No matter how important the beliefs are, and how strong the instinct is to use the concept of 'blasphemy' or 'tradition' or 'them and us' in order to make our own situation seem stable, it is of greater value to ensure that we do not divide beliefs or behaviours off into a space where they can't be examined rationally. It creates a healthy atmosphere of skepticism and intelligence , and prevents people from coming to unreasonable conclusions.

The way our brains work means that we frequently misinterpret events and data , and in particular, we always think there is more rationality and evidence for our beliefs than there is. One of Friedrich Nietzsche's longest-lasting declarations was that " we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions This all matters because when beliefs become unquestioned, a community can become increasingly divorced from reality. This is dangerous when individual leaders or belief-based authorities claim to be acting in accord with a divine principle, such as God's will. When it comes to disputes, religionists can come to deny any chance of compromise.

In the adult world of democratic politics, compromise in disputes is what keeps things from breaking down: you give a little in one area, but have to give up in another. However, arguments based on differences in religion or belief often contain parties that believe the issue has universal, absolute and cosmic significance.

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They will not compromise on their position, and many ordinary believers state that they think that religious beliefs should be somehow beyond question Malise Ruthven in his book on fundamentalism warns that this is particularly dangerous It is how religious cults are formed. In extreme cases this leads to complete social rejection and the possibility of suicide cults, as has been seen many times in history for example with Charles Manson's followers and the who died when the People's Temple suicided.

These groups always start out with borderline, but common, beliefs and slowly become more delusional over time. In all cases followers lacked an instinct to ask questions about the beliefs. It is religion that gains most when people cease asking deep questions about beliefs, and it is truth that suffers most.

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By denying evil we do harm. By denying darkness we obscure the light. Over a period of almost two millennia, the Christian Church has oppressed and brutalized millions of individuals in an attempt to control and contain spirituality. The Dark Side of Christian History [Helen Ellerbe] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Christian church has left a legacy, a world view,​.

Thomas Paine famously remarked that "it is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry" 39 and he argued that everything ought to be open to question as even prosaic beliefs can have negative consequences In the name of truth and common sense, do not let even trivial-seeming beliefs take hold without double-checking them, because once beliefs are trivialised, a slippery slope can take you down into madness! References: What's this?

The Bible NIV. The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. Book Review. Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Pro-science magazine published bimonthly. Originally published Current version published by Rainbow Books. A hardback book. An e-book. A paperback book. Amazon link points to a newer edition than the one I've used here. Published by Cornell University Press. Draper, John William.