The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West

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Secular humanists and other "progressives" have been predicting the demise of religion for the past 250 years. But they keep running into a problem: those who were supposed to be liberated by the secular gospel that God is Dead aren't buying it. Except for some parts of western Europe and in countries culturally destroyed by Communism, secularization in the radical sense has not occurred.

While it has not obliterated the religious impulse, however, the drive towards "progressive irreligion" has, Robert Royal believes, encouraged ignorance of religion's central role in the development of the West. In The God That Did Not Fail, Royal offers an original reading of religion in ancient Greece and Rome, of Christianity and Judaism, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, the several modern Enlightenments, culminating with a profound assessment of our current postmodern moment. He concludes that since religion is a permanent part of human nature and of the particular character of the West, our efforts should be directed not into a quixotic effort to deny the undeniable, especially as we face challenges from Islamic fundamentalism, but into promoting a well thought out and dynamic interplay of faith, reason, and modern freedoms.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Royal (The Pope's Army) seeks to engage contemporary culture and civilization in a dialog that underscores the central importance of religion and religious thought in Western civilization despite apparently increasing secularization that has been influenced by advances in science, technology, certain philosophical discourse (e.g., existentialism, Marxism), and naturalist psychology as advocated by Freud. In essence, the book is a response to those that argue for science's preeminence in books such as Charles Freeman's The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason and A.N. Wilson's God's Funeral: The Decline of Faith in Western Civilization. While Royal's argument is not original, he does present a well-articulated synthesis of mostly sec-ondhand sources that address the major historical developments in Western civilization from ancient Greece to our contemporary world. His writing is accessible and aimed at a general audience. The book's key weakness is that while it purports to be an intellectual history of religion's role in Western civilization, in reality it is a meditative reflection designed to engender discussion and dialog. As such, it is recommended with reservations to comprehensive religion collections only.-Pius Charles Murray, Boston Univ. Sch. of Theology Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594035173
  • Publisher: Encounter Books
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 311
  • Sales rank: 1,440,598
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Royal is president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. Among his books are 1492 and All That: Political Manipulations of History and The Virgin and the Dynamo: The Use and Abuse of Religion in Environmental Debates.
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Table of Contents

Introduction The Gods That Have Failed ix

Chapter 1 Greek Gifts 3

Chapter 2 Roma Aeterna 29

Chapter 3 The Bible and Its Worlds 52

Chapter 4 Christian Paradoxes 75

Chapter 5 Medieval Highs and Lows 108

Chapter 6 Renaissances and Reforms 141

Chapter 7 Enlightenments, Revolutions, Reactions 181

Chapter 8 Civilization, Culture, and Their Discontents 214

Chapter 9 The God That Did Not Fail 243

Acknowledgments 275

Notes 277

Index 295

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