Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Self-Congratulatory Renaissance Humanism

Stark is bent on dispelling myths about Christendom, especially those which show it off as ignorant or barbaric.  And he does so quite convincingly.

In his chapter, "The Dark Ages and Other Mythical Eras," he begins by calling out Bertrand Russell and others who have written in college textbooks and other world histories as liars and frauds with agendas of their own.  According to them,

"To sum up:  Western history consists of four major eras:  1)  classical antiquity, then 2) the Dark Ages when the church dominated, followed by 3)  the Renaissance-Enlightenment which led the way to 4)  modern times."  

Stark then comments,

"For several centuries that has been the fundamental organizing scheme for every textbook devoted to Western history, despite the fact that serious historians have known for decades that this scheme is a complete fraud - an indestructible fossil of self-congratulatory Renaissance humanism.  It is appropriate to use the term renaissance to identify a particular period in the arts when there was renewed interest in classical styles, and to distinguish this period from the Gothic or the Baroque.  But it is inappropriate to apply this term to identify the rebirth of progress following the Dark Ages because there never were any Dark Ages." - Stark, TC, pp238-9.

He then goes on, but I'll wait for the next post.

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