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Catholic Review of: How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

Item Details

Author:  Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.

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This item received 5 stars overall. (03/29/2012)

Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate

 Jaye ProcureBy Jaye Procure ( ) - See all my reviews


A review of the many ways Catholicism contributed to the development of the Western world.

Evaluator Comments

For both the dedicated Catholic and the sceptic, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization supplies much food for thought regarding the role Catholicism has played in western history. It should be in every library.
Dr. Woods has covered many subject headings including Morality, Science, Art and Law and provides well documented examples of the Church's contributions, often foundational contributions, to each one.  He also meets head on the discussion of the idea that the Church was responsible for the "Dark Ages".  And who says they were dark?  There is a concise and fair review of the "Galileo affair" which I think most would find interesting.
I found the book affirming and often surprising.  I do not think anyone would be able to walk away from this book and still believe that the Church was anti-science or anti-reason.  This book is an antidote to much of what we have been taught in schools and exposed to in the media.
The many footnotes are arranged at the end of the book, so that they are not distracting.  The off-white colour of the paper makes the book easy on the eyes.  There is a section which included photographs relevant to the subjects.
The one shortcoming of  this book, if it is to be used for serious research, is the index.  I wanted to find something that I'd read in the book about an experiment in flight in the 11th century, and I ended up having to go through the book page by page to find the reference, as the only index entry was the name of the obscure monk who managed to glide 600 feet.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone involved in RCIA, either as a catechist or a cathecumen.  I think the parent or catechist involved in preparation for Confirmation classes would also find this book very helpful in responding to young sceptics. 

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