A Brief History of Christianity (Updated Edition) by Bamber Gascoigne

By Bamber Gascoigne

This quantity tells the tale of Christianity in the course of the person women and men who formed it. it's a tale of significant undertakings and outstanding successes in addition to ferocious intolerance, greed and bloodshed. Bamber Gascoigne lines a transparent direction via a sophisticated heritage, exploring the factors, the passions, the fears and the achievements of the Christians. His technique is aim and he writes in a conversational variety, targeting moments of vital element and an enormous and sundry solid of characters.

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Extra resources for A Brief History of Christianity (Updated Edition)

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It is logically impossible, however, to account for the world we see around us if we admit the existence of only contingent beings, for if every object depended on another for its existence, nothing could ever have begun to exist. Hence the need for a being, God, for whom existence belonged to his essence, a self-sufficient entity whose nonexistence was impossible, on whom all subsequent and contingent creation depended. Kant’s epistemology completely disrupted the method behind these proofs. For Kant, such ideas as causality and contingency were not actual relationships corresponding to extramental reality but mere categories that the mind imposed on the outside world to bring order to the data it perceived.

31 Indeed, having undermined the mind’s ability to know the so-called thing-in-itself, Kant had left nothing on which to base religious conviction except subjective experience and the sheer exercise of the will. 32 This increasingly radical trend toward religious subjectivism understandably alarmed Catholics. 33 Saint Thomas Aquinas’s famous “five ways” of 34 / THE CHALLENGE OF PRAGMATISM proving God’s existence had relied on universal ideas. Thus God’s existence followed, in one of the saint’s proofs, from the principle of causality: everything that comes into being must have a cause, and a regression back through these causes must lead to an uncaused cause, or God.

48 The excessive subjectivism of the Modernists, the pope feared, would lead to an individualistic spirituality that would render the Church superfluous to the believer. Its tendency toward a nonspecific spirituality in place of the concrete, revealed dogmas of the Catholic Church especially troubled the pope in light of global trends he saw beginning to emerge. ”49 More than ever, then, it was incumbent upon Catholics to place due emphasis on the objective nature of religious belief and to recognize the role of the Church THE CHALLENGE OF PRAGMATISM / 39 as the divine guardian and repository of the specific doctrines entrusted to her by her Lord.

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