As we all know, and as many of our well-established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called "Hitler's Pope", the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long-held beliefs were all wrong?
In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and the best-selling author of The Rise of Christianity, argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light, are in fact fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what is the truth? In each chapter Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how it became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth.
©2016 Rodney Stark (P)2016 Tantor
"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)
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"Historical Accuracy needed in modern world"
As a former protestant and now a new convert to the Catholic faith, I found the information very valuable in explaining some of the prejudices I have encountered since becoming a Catholic
Very well done. Learned things I wish I'd learned years ago. Nothing like understanding history to give meaning to today.
"Excellent and much-needed history."
This book is very much in line with other books by Rodney Stark. It addresses many very important misconceptions still commonly believed in our world today. As an amateur historian, and as someone who cares about the truth, I highly recommend this book.
"Great book about historical lies. The performance, not so much."
This would be a 5 star book, except for the narrator. I think this book would sound only slightly worse if read by a computer. His phrases are choppy and his tone doesn't flow. Think a computerized reading. It's hard to follow the narrative of the author because of this reading.
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