giovedì 16 febbraio 2017

What Connection Is There, if any, Between Christianity and Innovation? Donald Yerxa

What Connection Is There, if any, Between Christianity and Innovation?
Donald Yerxa
Citation (APA): Yerxa, D. (2015). What Connection Is There, if any, Between Christianity and Innovation? [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from

Parte introduttiva
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saha: il primo illuminismo dei padri: librrtà di coscienza e libertà di religione lloyd: l innovazione nn è sempre buna... senza tradizione genera incomprensione sidentop: cristianesimo e basi del librralismo... libertà individuali e uguaglianza legale harrison: la metafisica naturalista e il debito col cristianesimo l innovazione del transnazoonalismo progresso e peccato: il progresso richiede un econpmia del peccato
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What Connection Is There, if any, Between Christianity and Innovation? By Donald Yerxa
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For many public intellectuals
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Christianity, inhibits innovation.
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commonly assumed, has resisted novelty
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sided with dogma and tradition.
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Christianity is one of intolerance,
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Witness the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the wars of religion.
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gradual eclipse of Christianity
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advent of science, reason, and the Enlightenment,
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I want to advance an argument that runs against the grain of such contemporary thinking:
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To argue that Christianity has consistently inhibited innovation relies on a selective reading
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(Donald A. Yerxa, ed., Religion and Innovation: Antagonists or Partners?
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the work of political scientist Timothy Samuel Shah (“ The First Enlightenment: The Patristic Roots of Religious Freedom,” in Religion and Innovation).
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Shah contends that the prevailing view in today’s academy is that doctrines of liberalism, democracy, and freedom of conscience could only emerge in direct revolt against Christianity.
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Shah suggests that some of the earliest persecuted Christian communities incubated innovative doctrines of individual and institutional religious freedom, which themselves generated new concepts of political freedom.
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Athenagoras of Athens, and especially Tertullian and Lactantius),
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universal religious freedom.
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arguments for religious freedom,
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“First Enlightenment”
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Larry Siedentop, who makes the case in Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism
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Drawing from the moral revolution of the early church, canon lawyers, theologians, and philosophers in the Middle Ages advanced a number of moral intuitions in their struggle against an authoritarian model of the medieval church. These became central to Western liberalism and included such things as: belief in individual liberty, the fundamental moral equality of individuals, and equality as the basis of the legal system.
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“liberal thought is the offspring of Christianity”
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scientific naturalism
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Christianity, has played essentially an inhibitory role.
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leading historians of science, Peter Harrison,
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Religion, Scientific Naturalism, and Historical Progress,” in Religion and Innovation).
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connections between religion and naturalism.
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Christianity “provided the metaphysical foundations upon which that naturalism was constructed.”
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historian Dana Robert,
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missionary Protestantism was a major source of social innovation and modern democratic notions at the beginning of the twentieth century
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The innovative dynamics are evident in what Robert calls “Christian transnationalism.” She demonstrates how nonwestern Christian intellectuals— namely, Inazô Nitobé (Japan), Silas Modiri Molema (South Africa), and Philip Hitti (Lebanon)— wrote national histories in the early twentieth century that “envisioned a common global civil society.” These Christian transnationals “used ethnic nationalism as a tool for democratic internationalism.”
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historian Wilfred McClay’s
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Sin, Guilt, and the Future of Progress,” in Religion and Innovation).
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there is an “ominous linkage” between progress and guilt, and this, McClay warns, could fatally undermine “the energies of innovation that have made the West what it is.” He suggests that in order to be sustained human progress may need religion and “something very like the moral economy of sin and absolution
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innovation is not always a good thing.
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historian G. E. R. Lloyd
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nnovation with no tradition at all would produce unintelligibility”
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Armand D’Angour, The Greeks and the New: Novelty in Ancient Greek Imagination and Experience
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Some changes have been resisted fiercely.
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Christianity and innovation. At present, the evidence is simply insufficient;
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we need further research
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challenges the presumption that Christianity is invariably opposed to innovation.
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warfare thesis of science and religion that persists despite substantial scholarship to the contrary,
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scholarship by itself may not be sufficient to counter the entrenched stereotypes
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why these stereotypes and myths persist