While discussing this on the internet I have often come across many "new atheists" who simply cannot bring themselves to accept that Christianity had anything to do with the development of their beloved science. There are, I think, two reasons for this.
Thesis[ edit ] Gibbon offers an explanation for the fall of the Roman Empirea task made difficult by a lack of comprehensive written sources, though he was not the only historian to attempt it. The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and, instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long.
The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple.
The emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy; the vigour of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the Fall of rome essay conclusion institutions of Constantine; and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians.
It was not until his own era, the "Age of Reason", with its emphasis on rational thought, it was believed, that human history could resume its progress. He can lapse into moralisation and aphorism: The decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
The influence of the clergy, in an age of superstitionmight be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind; but so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altarthat the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people. If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [of gunpowder ] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.
Citations and footnotes[ edit ] Gibbon provides the reader with a glimpse of his thought process with extensive notes along the body of the text, a precursor to the modern use of footnotes. Gibbon's footnotes are famous for their idiosyncratic and often humorous style, and have been called "Gibbon's table talk.
This technique enabled Gibbon to compare ancient Rome to his own contemporary world. Gibbon's work advocates a rationalist and progressive view of history.
Gibbon's citations provide in-depth detail regarding his use of sources for his work, which included documents dating back to ancient Rome. The detail within his asides and his care in noting the importance of each document is a precursor to modern-day historical footnoting methodology.
The work is notable for its erratic but exhaustively documented notes and research. In response, Gibbon defended his work with the publication of, A Vindication He outlined in chapter 33 the widespread tale, possibly Jewish in origin, of the Seven Sleepers and remarked "This popular tale, which Mahomet might learn when he drove his camels to the fairs of Syria, is introduced, as a divine revelation, into the Quran.
A special revelation dispensed him from the laws which he had imposed on his nation: The latest scholarship with respect to Dead Sea Scrolls has repudiated these assertions .
Views on Jews and charge of antisemitism[ edit ] Gibbon described the Jews as "a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but also of humankind".
The Church's version of its early history had rarely been questioned before. Gibbon, however, knew that modern Church writings were secondary sourcesand he shunned them in favor of primary sources.
Christianity as a contributor to the fall and to stability: Foster says that Gibbon: The Decline and Fall compares Christianity invidiously with both the pagan religions of Rome and the religion of Islam.
The first two were well received and widely praised. Gibbon thought that Christianity had hastened the Fall, but also ameliorated the results: As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least the abuse of Christianity, had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire.
The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister: Faith, zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition, kindled the flame of theological discord; the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny; and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of their country."This latest volume from Professor Greg Woolf is a marvelous synthesis of the scholarship of, primarily, the last four decades on Rome's imperial successes and failures, rendered in an approachable and affable style of writing that is imbued throughout with useful anecdotes, quotes from primary sources, and summaries of the major scholarly positions.
A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
The Case Against The Case for Christ A response to Christian apologetics literature This review and analysis is of the book The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel.
Christianity and the Rise of Science. Contents.
Introduction. The History of the History of Medieval Science. The Dark Ages. The Revival of Learning. Aristotle. I like the faith message that I get out of the "literary device" viewpoint.
My only minor quibble is that the order of Genesis 1 is close enough to the natural scientific order.