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On Western history as Christian history

Summary

Samuel Moyn lists some of the things Christianity is on the hook for.

Summary

Samuel Moyn lists some of the things Christianity is on the hook for.

Transcript

Christianity and Christians – in part because of the states that they built in the early modern period, roughly between the Renaissance and the French Revolution – have been the dominant players in world history. Now in Europe, their homeland, the Christian religion has suffered some striking recent reversals, but for centuries Christians kind of get credit and blame for most everything that happens.

Now this doesn’t mean that everything that’s done is done in the name of Christianity, but a lot was. So we can find slavers who are deeply Christian. We can find even those who commit various episodes of violence, even genocide, who are pious Christians and think what they’re doing is God’s cause. I think it’s fair to say that most religions have mostly been committed most profoundly to the dominance of men over women for as long as that’s been a phenomenon. And so – I think all that’s bad, and Christians and the Christian religion are on the hook for those outcomes.

Now they also have done a lot of good.