We all know Christianity thrives on ignorance, sunk us all into the dark ages, and has resisted human rights and equality for most of its 1500 year reign.
What have the Christians ever done for us?
Our guest today - who says he’s not a believing Christian - reckons many of us have things completely back to front. It’s Christianity, he insists, that gave us many of the secular humanitarian ideals we hold so dear.
- This episode was sponsored by Zondervan's new book Person of Interest: Why Jesus still matters in a world that rejects the Bible by J Warner Wallace
- Meet our guest, Tom Holland
- Read Holland's latest book, Dominion: The making of the Western Mind
- Or check out his YouTube channel, where you can watch one of the documentaries he made with the BBC on Islam
- Here's a 5 minute primer on stoicism from Ted-Ed. Want more? Here's a good place to start to learn more about Stoicism.
- Watch the trailer for HBO's award-winning series, Rome. Be warned... it's brutal.
- More on the Pax Romana ("Roman peace")
- Watch this segment from the Centre For Public Christianity's documentary, For the Love of God, on the origins of western healthcare.
- Here is Stephen Greenblatt's book The Swerve from 2012, which offers a contrary argument about Christianity's influence on the world. Full disclosure: Tom Holland, while an admirer of Greenblatt's work on Shakespeare, thinks The Swerve is by far his worst book.
- So ... the Dark Ages? Not so dark. We'll undoubtedly do a whole episode on that soon enough, but in the meantime, John Dickson's new book Bullies and Saints has a bit to say about it too.