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On the best thing Christianity gave us

Summary

Teresa Morgan makes the link between what your god(s) are like and what you think is good.

Summary

Teresa Morgan makes the link between what your god(s) are like and what you think is good.

Transcript

Perhaps the great contribution of Christianity to public life, and to the social life of the Roman Empire and then the Christian world in general, may have been its insistence that if love and peace and justice and trust and hope and joy are good things, then they are always good things, and they are good for everybody in all circumstances.

I think that insistence by Christianity that God is always loving and always trustworthy and always just, and because of that Christians are called always to practise those same goods towards God and always to practise those same goods to one another, that is a very big change in thinking from the ethics of the Greek and Roman world, where the gods may be just but may not – where the gods may love human beings but may not – where being merciful might be the right thing on a certain day but might not – where loving your neighbour might serve you but might not. The Christian insistence that if those things are good, they are good for everybody and they are always good – I think that was transformational for the Roman world and then for the Christian world, and is perhaps the single greatest contribution of Christianity to public life.