Thomas Woods And The Catholic Church Essay

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Thomas Woods’ How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization is an endeavor that aims to draw light to the role of the Catholic Church in history and today. This is something that is not understood or acknowledged by most of contemporary society. Woods notes that historians are the main perpetrators due to their lack of expansive knowledge about the far-reaching effects of the Catholic Church in the setting up of frameworks for science, music, economics, arts, human rights, public school, and so forth. This popular narrative of the Church’s contribution being limited to monks copying manuscripts has guided most of the current understandings of the Church.
In the first chapter of Woods sets the tone by proclaiming that “[t]he Church, in fact, built Western civilization” (Woods 2005, 18). Instead of laying out a narrative of the Catholic Church’s history, Woods takes a topical approach by focusing on the pre-Enlightenment Church history. Woods covers a range of topics that including the conversion of “heathens” and of how monastic traditions preserved much of Western civilization. This includes the Carolingian Renaissance, the emergence of the university, the Scientific Revolution, the art and architecture of the medieval period, the existence of international law as a result of Catholic disputes on the nature of the soul after encounters with indigenous peoples of the Americas, classical economics, charity, and morality. Throughout the book, we are presented with…

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