Closing of the Western Mind The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason

ISBN-10: 1400033802

ISBN-13: 9781400033805

Edition: N/A

Authors: Charles Freeman

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A radical and powerful reappraisal of the impact of Constantine’s adoption of Christianity on the later Roman world, and on the subsequent development both of Christianity and of Western civilization. When the Emperor Contstantine converted to Christianity in 368 AD, he changed the course of European history in ways that continue to have repercussions to the present day. Adopting those aspects of the religion that suited his purposes, he turned Rome on a course from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilization of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority, whether that of the Bible, or the writings of Ptolemy in astronomy and of Galen and Hippocrates in medicine. Only a thousand years later, with the advent of the Renaissance and the emergence of modern science, did Europe begin to free itself from the effects of Constantine's decision, yet the effects of his establishment of Christianity as a state religion remain with us, in many respects, today. Brilliantly wide-ranging and ambitious, this is a major work of history.
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Book details

List price: $17.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/8/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

A member of the Blue Guides editorial board, Charles Freeman is the author of numerous books, including AD 381 and The Closing of the Western Mind. He lives in Suffolk, England.

Map of the Roman Empire
Terminology and Sources
Thomas Aquinas and 'The Triumph of Faith'
The Quest for Certainty
The Quest for Virtue
Changing Political Contexts: Alexander and the Coming of the Hellenistic Monarchies
Absorbing the East, Rome and the Integration of Greek Culture
'All nations look to the majesty of Rome': The Roman Empire at its Height
The Empire in Crisis, the Empire in Recovery: Political Transformations in the Third Century
Paul, 'the founder of Christianity'?
'A crowd that lurks in corners, shunning the light': The First Christian Communities
Constantine and the Coming of the Christian State
'But what I wish, that must be the canon': Emperors and the Making of Christian Doctrine
'Enriched by the gifts of matrons': Bishops and Society in the Fourth Century
Six Emperors and a Bishop: Ambrose of Milan
Interlude: Quintus Aurelius Symmachus and the Defence of Paganism
The Ascetic Odyssey
Eastern Christianity and the Emergence of the Byzantine Empire, 395-600
The Emergence of Catholic Christianity in the West, 395-640
'We honour the privilege of silence which is without peril': The Death of the Greek Empirical Tradition
Thomas Aquinas and the Restoration of Reason
Modern Works Cited in the Text and Notes
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