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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A thousand years and nothing happened?, 7. Januar 2011
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It is an extraordinary situation in the western history of science that, over a period of a thousand years, roughly from Ptolemy to Copernicus, little that is of any fundamental importance occurred in what we now call the natural sciences. There were some developments in related fields of course, such as the invention of the plough; but such developments are largely ones of technology. And there was considerable speculation in the late middle ages about matters scientific, but it was speculation only.

It is highly unlikely that a thousand years of scientific stagnation came about without due cause: Freeman's hypothesis is that it came about because of the excessive power of the Catholic Church, which required that all knowledge came through divine revelation; largely the holy scriptures, in the interpretation of that Roman Catholic Church. 'Philosophy' was exclusively in the hands of the theologists - basically an absurdity, as philosophy, as understood in classical times and as understood again today, requires a high degree of intellectual freedom. In the medieval mindset, the things of this world were in any case trivial and transient, a couple of years spent in preparation for an eternity in heaven. It is unsurprising that non-theological intellectual vigour was supressed, or placed under the ultimate sanction of burning at the stake.

Ultimately, this is the story which eventually led to the trial of Galileo: not for doing science, but for challenging the truth monopoly of the Church. Only because of his old age was he spared annihilation and instead subjected to lifelong house arrest.

Freeman's book is an excellent account of those thousand years and more; so excellent that one must be sceptical about the ideological origin of some of his critics, maybe those who still believe in the literal truth of the bible? Augustine, in the fourth century, pointed out the grave danger of interpreting the bible in a literal as opposed to a mythological way. But some have still not learned this lesson.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A must for anybody interested in the history of the church, 4. Januar 2005
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This is a very well written and well researched book. Some of the arguments may not be entirely new, but I have not yet found a single book which deals so extensively with this topic. A must read for anybody interested in church history, philosophy or Christianity.
I particularly like the style of the book, which is not too academic, but nevertheless written with authority. The extensive references allow a even deeper study of the topic. Also, Freeman is a very fair author. Many writers might have been much harsher with the "church fathers". Freeman does not allow emotions or polemic muddle his facts. Orthodox Christians may not like his conclusions, and - as with all historical topics - you will find scholars who disagree with certain parts.
But this is just the usual academic discussion and argument of "reasonable" people!
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The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason
The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason von Charles Freeman (Taschenbuch - 8. Februar 2005)
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