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Dark Side of Christian History, The

napsal Ellerbe, Helen

Krátký popis

In June of 1995 the Chicago Tribune reported that Pope John Paul II had urged the Roman Catholic Church to seize the "particularly propitious" occasion of the new millennium to recognize "the dark side of its history."1 In a 1994 confidential letter to cardinals which was later leaked to the Italian press, he asked, How can one remain silent about the many forms of violence perpetrated in the name of the faith—wars of religion, tribunals of the Inquisition and other forms of violations of the rights of persons?2 Unfortunately, too many have remained silent. Several years ago I listened in amazement as an acquaintance spoke of how the Christian Church had embodied the best of Western civilization and how it had brought peace and understanding to the people it touched. He seemed entirely unaware of the Church's dark past. I decided to prepare a short presentation chronicling the dark side of Christian history—a presentation to help balance the perception that organized Christianity has historically lived up to its professed principles and ideals. I assumed that I would easily find all the information necessary for this presentation at the bookstore, but was soon shocked to find so little available on the subject. While historians have certainly written about the dark side of Christian history, their words have largely stayed within the confines of academe. And few have written of Christianity's role in creating a world in which people feel alienated from the sacred. Why, at a time when so many are searching for deeper spiritual meaning, isn't ii THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTIAN HISTORY there more accessible information about the history of the institutions which are purported to convey such spiritual truth? Without understanding the dark side of religious history, one might think that religion and spirituality are one and the same. Yet, organized religion has a very long history of curtailing and containing spirituality, one's personal and private relationship with God, the sacred, or the divine. This book is what became of that short presentation. My intention is to offer, not a complete picture of Christian history, but only the side which hurt so many and did such damage to spirituality. It is in no way intended to diminish the beautiful work that countless Christian men and women have done to truly help others. And it is certainly not intended as a defense of or tribute to any other religion. Helen Ellerbe February 1996

Jazyk

English

Klíčová slova

Philosophy, Christianity

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