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Book Title: Europe and the Faith|
The author of the book: Hilaire Belloc
Edition: Stonewell Press
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.68 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: October 19th 2013
ISBN 13: 9781627300148
Loaded: 2843 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
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Excellent analysis of how the Catholic faith transformed the Roman Empire into the Christendom of the Middle Ages. Many modern historians frame this as a "fall" of the Empire and something new rising to take its place, but Belloc makes a good case for seeing this rather as a gradual transition. He also demonstrates quite persuasively that historians ought to appreciate the precise role of the Catholic Church in those early centuries whether they happen to hold that faith or not. Belloc's view of the relation of the Church to society gives him insights into the sociological (rather than theological) character of the Protestant Reformation. For these reasons, this short and accessible book is well worth the time of anyone interested in European history.
That being said, this work suffers from several deficiencies. Belloc's French influences shine through in his probably too antagonistic view of Germany, as if that country were wholly and irredeemably barbaric. To be fair, however, the German school of history against which he constantly rails in this work, published in 1920, is precisely the racial explanation of history that laid the foundation for Nazism, so he can perhaps be excused for his excess. The modern reader will appreciate how the views Belloc tries to discredit continue to influence the way history is taught in our universities today, so the century between its publication and the present does not render it out-of-date.
Belloc also, as is his custom, makes bold and memorable statements that perhaps do his work a disservice. Saying "Europe is the faith, and the faith is Europe" is in one way an accurate summary of his thesis, but saying this so bluntly in the introduction before a careful and detailed definition of terms can not but alienate some readers.
I highly recommend this work to students of history, whether ancient, medieval, or modern. Even if one disagrees with Belloc's conclusions, his way of framing the narrative will bring new insights to even familiar historical events.
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Read information about the authorJoseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc was an Anglo-French writer and historian who became a naturalised British subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters, and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G.K. Chesterton.
He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man.
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