For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery by Rodney Stark | 9780691119502 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery

For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery

by Rodney Stark
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691119503

ISBN-13: 9780691119502

Pub. Date: 08/09/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Rodney Stark's provocative new book argues that, whether we like it or not, people acting for the glory of God have formed our modern culture. Continuing his project of identifying the widespread consequences of monotheism, Stark shows that the Christian conception of God resulted—almost inevitably and for the same reasons—in the Protestant Reformation,

Overview

Rodney Stark's provocative new book argues that, whether we like it or not, people acting for the glory of God have formed our modern culture. Continuing his project of identifying the widespread consequences of monotheism, Stark shows that the Christian conception of God resulted—almost inevitably and for the same reasons—in the Protestant Reformation, the rise of modern science, the European witch-hunts, and the Western abolition of slavery. In the process, he explains why Christian and Islamic images of God yielded such different cultural results, leading Christians but not Muslims to foster science, burn "witches," and denounce slavery.

With his usual clarity and skepticism toward the received wisdom, Stark finds the origins of these disparate phenomena within monotheistic religious organizations. Endemic in such organizations are pressures to maintain religious intensity, which lead to intense conflicts and schisms that have far-reaching social results.

Along the way, Stark debunks many commonly accepted ideas. He interprets the sixteenth-century flowering of science not as a sudden revolution that burst religious barriers, but as the normal, gradual, and direct outgrowth of medieval theology. He also shows that the very ideas about God that sustained the rise of science led also to intense witch-hunting by otherwise clear-headed Europeans, including some celebrated scientists. This conception of God likewise yielded the Christian denunciation of slavery as an abomination—and some of the fiercest witch-hunters were devoted participants in successful abolitionist movements on both sides of the Atlantic.

For the Glory of God is an engrossing narrative that accounts for the very different histories of the Christian and Muslim worlds. It fundamentally changes our understanding of religion's role in history and the forces behind much of what we point to as secular progress.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691119502
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/09/2004
Pages:
504
Sales rank:
315,422
Product dimensions:
6.05(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Dimensions of the Supernatural 1
CHAPTER 1
God's Truth: Inevitable Sects and Reformations 15
CHAPTER 2
God's Handiwork: The Religious Origins of Science 121
CHAPTER 3
God's Enemies: Explaining the European Witch-Hunts 201
CHAPTER 4
God's Justice: The Sin of Slavery 291
Postscript: Gods, Rituals, and Social Science 367
Notes 377
Bibliography 419
Index 465

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