February 23rd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Something rotten led to fish-kill: perhaps fishy environmentalism

EDITORIAL Resistance grows to Beijing's soft-power push

CANBERRA OBSERVED Climate change: deadly ... to political leaders

TECHNOLOGY Electric cars: UK taxpayers subsidise rich greenies

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION A step too small?

CYBER SECURITY Chinese smartphone threat extends way beyond Huawei

SOCIETY Such grandeur of spirit

POLITICS John Hewson should have as sturdy a Constitution

FINANCE Hayne royal commission sets agenda for bank reform

FAMILY RELATIONS Dad: a girl's first and most influential love

COMMENTARY Words gone feral: rights and equality

MEDICINE AND CULTURE Book captures tragedy of falling foul of a fanatic

SOCIETY AND CULTURE A dog's life: reflections of a grey nomad

HUMOUR

MUSIC Serialism a killer: Ideas tend to get in the way

CINEMA Cold Pursuit: Revenge served up manic

BOOK REVIEW Why the West and nowhere else

BOOK REVIEW The escalation of horror and atrocity

LETTERS

FAMILY AND SOCIETY The end of Liberalism

Books promotion page

BEARING FALSE WITNESS:
Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History

Rodney Stark

$55.90


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Book description

“Rodney Stark gives the last acceptable prejudice a sound thrashing and clears up a lot of confused history along the way. Give this fine book to anyone you know who’s been subjected to ‘social studies’.” — George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Centre

“Growing up Catholic in the United States is to hear a constant stream of stuff that, one’s experience shows, is just not true. Still I have always trusted that some unbiased non-Catholic scholar would one day look at the evidence (even its simple logic) again. Little did I imagine that this expected dispassionate historian would be so deeply informed, lucid, thorough, and blunt. Rodney Stark has done justice to neglected historical truth, and I am deeply grateful for his steady toughmindedness. His aim was to honour the truth, so now it remains for historians to look again, face his challenges, and come refreshed to their own verdicts.” — Michael Novak, winner of the Templeton Prize (1994), author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

“A majestically argued, gorgeously written, and essential book by one of the truly indispensable minds of our time. Bearing False Witness is one more gift to history from Rodney Stark. It should in turn be given to and read by students and professors everywhere, whatever their beliefs.” — Mary Eberstadt, author of How the West Really Lost God and It’s Dangerous to Believe

“If ever there was a book that was going to stir up controversy among historians, scholars of religion, sociologists, and politicians, then Bearing False Witness is it. In it, Rodney Stark rebuts, with his usual mastery of sources and mature judgement, the widespread ‘black legends’ about Catholic violence, bigotry, intolerance, and rejection of modern science. Regardless of whether one agrees with all of his arguments, this book will be a most useful resource for educators and scholars alike, and due to its engaging and lucid style it is a must-have for every history lover.” — Ulrich L. Lehner, author of The Catholic Enlightenment

“Those trapped by convention will bristle at Stark’s book, but those who attempt to deconstruct their own stance will find here much that resonates. Written in a lively style, Stark’s book will appeal to those interested in the history of Western civilisation, Christianity, and culture.” — CHOICE

“Roman Catholics have gotten a bad reputation: they’re responsible for the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. They’re anti-science, anti-Semites, and anti-freedom. Each of these accusations is an oversimplification that perverts history. According to a new, groundbreaking book by sociologist and historian Rodney Stark, the truth is far more friendly to the Catholic Church, and those who say otherwise are overlooking important developments in the study of history. In Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, Stark rebuts 10 historical myths that reflect badly on the Catholic church.” — Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Bearing False Witness by Rodney Stark is a generous book – though more importantly, a judicious one. Stark is a Protestant who grew up believing many anti-Catholic myths, including that old canard from Washington Irving that Columbus’s voyage had been discouraged by the Church because of her belief that the world was flat. Stark dismantles this quaint piece of ahistorical folklore in his Introduction, then sets his sights on the whole panoply of ‘Black Legends’ maliciously promulgated throughout history to justify bigotry towards Catholics, first by rival denominations (English and Dutch Protestants invented the lurid, baseless cartoon we picture when we hear ‘Spanish Inquisition’) and then by secular forces (I learned here that it was Soviet propagandists who started the lie that Pius XII was ‘Hitler’s Pope’)… . the book is an across-the-aisle attempt to right some wrongs of Christian historiography” — Alexi Sargeant, First Things

 

About the Author

Rodney Stark is the distinguished professor of the social sciences and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University and honorary professor of sociology at Peking University in Beijing. He is the author or co-author of a number of books in 17 different languages, including the best-selling The Rise of Christianity. (HarperSanFrancisco, 1997)


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