The Closing of the Western Mind by Charles Freeman
The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason

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A radical and powerful reappraisal of the impact of Constantine’s adoption of Christianity on the later Roman world, and on the subsequent development both of Christianity and of Western civilization.

When the Emperor Contstantine converted to Christianity in 368 AD, he changed the course of European history in ways that continue to have repercussions to the present day. Adopting those aspects of the religion that suited his purposes, he turned Rome on a course from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilization of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority, whether that of the Bible, or the writings of Ptolemy in astronomy and of Galen and Hippocrates in medicine. Only a thousand years later, with the advent of the Renaissance and the emergence of modern science, did Europe begin to free itself from the effects of Constantine's decision, yet the effects of his establishment of Christianity as a state religion remain with us, in many respects, today. Brilliantly wide-ranging and ambitious, this is a major work of history.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Charles Freeman

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Charles Freeman is the author of The Greek Achievement and Egypt, Greece, and Rome. He lives in Suffolk, England.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 480 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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With the ascendancy of Christianity in the Roman world, Freeman observes, “the principles of empirical observation or logic were overruled in the conviction that all knowledge comes from God and even, in the writings of Augustine, that the human mind, burdened with Adam’s original sin, is incapab...

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Publishers Weekly

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Freeman repeats an oft-told tale of the rise of Christianity and the supposed demise of philosophy in a book that is fascinating, frustrating and flawed.

Aug 04 2003 | Read Full Review of The Closing of the Western Mi...


Don’t think so… What I think is happening here is that you are a moral person, and you believes God has to be good -unsupported claim- so you believes that god will want the same thing that you wants.

Apr 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Closing of the Western Mi...

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