Blinkered Christian soldiers (2 of 2)

December 22, 2011

R. Iestyn Daniel is arguably right to assert that the "West" owes a historical debt to Christianity.

However, he spins a Eurocentric, teleological historical narrative when he declares that Christianity gave "birth" to some of our major institutions such as schools, hospitals and universities. All these institutions had, at the very least, a gestation period that predates Christianity by a number of years. The social anthropologist Jack Goody would argue that this is but another instance of the "theft of history" where the "West" has a naive propensity for rewriting the past. Indeed, Goody contends that universities, rather than being begotten by Christianity, can trace much of their form and their content to Islam.

Anthony Friend, Lancaster

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