For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than You Ever Imagined
Shortlisted for 2020 Australian Book of the Year Church history offers plenty of ammunition to its critics. This book offers an accessible but wide-ranging introduction to the good, the bad, the ugly - and the surprising - when it...
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Shortlisted for 2020 Australian Book of the Year
Church history offers plenty of ammunition to its critics. This book offers an accessible but wide-ranging introduction to the good, the bad, the ugly - and the surprising - when it comes to the impact Christianity has had on our culture.
Christianity, depending on who you ask, is either a scourge on our society, narrow, delusive, and inevitably producing hatred and violence; or the foundation of some of the best elements of our culture and a continued source of hope, comfort to those in need, and moral inspiration.
Are we talking about the same people here?
Are we looking at the same history?
Crusades, witch hunts, slavery, colonialism, child abuse... the history of the church offers plenty of ammunition to its critics. And on the other hand: charity, human rights, abolition, non-violent resistance, literacy and education.
In For the Love of God, Natasha Moore confronts the worst of what Christians have done, and also traces the origins of some of the things we like best about our culture back to the influence of Jesus.
Covering episodes from the Spanish Inquisition to Martin Luther King Jr, Florence Nightingale to the "humility revolution", this book offers an accessible but wide-ranging introduction to the good, the bad, the ugly - and the unexpected - when it comes to the impact Christianity has had on the world we live in.
Dr John Dickson is an author and historian, and the Distinguished Fellow in Public Christianity at Ridley College (Melbourne). A busy public advocate for the Christian faith, John also teaches 'Historical Jesus' at the University of Sydney, and is a Visiting Academic in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford (2016-2020). He is the presenter of Australia's top-rating religion podcast Undeceptions. He is married to Buff, and they have three children.
Justine Toh is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She worked at Fairfax Digital before completing her doctorate in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. She speaks and writes about freedom and individualism, the body as a project, and other trends in contemporary culture.
Simon Smart is Executive Director of the Centre for Public Christianity. A former English and History teacher, Simon has a Masters in Christian Studies from Regent College, Vancouver. He has years of experience writing and editing both academic curricula and popular books. He is the author of For God's Sake: An Atheist, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim Debate Religion, and editor of A Spectator's Guide to Worldviews. His writing has appeared in such places as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC, The Australian, and The Guardian.
Natasha is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and is the author of Victorian Poetry and Modern Life: The Unpoetical Age and For the Love of God: How the church is better and worse than you ever imagined, as well as editor of 10 Tips for Atheists and other conversations in faith and culture. She has worked for CPX since 2014 and written for the mainstream media on topics that include books, movies, politics, food, domestic violence, Scripture in schools, war, Thanksgiving, and freedom of speech. She recently discovered she is an optimist.
- Preface; Introduction: Does Religion Poison Everything?; Part I: Worst Of The Worst; 1. Crusades; 2. Inquisitions; Torture; The Auto-da-fe; 3. Christianity Inc.; Jubilee: Raking It In; Papacy For Profit: The Renaissance Popes; Indulgences; Coda: Child Abuse ; Part Ii: Best Of The Best; 4. The Invention Of Charity; The Knights Hospitaller; 5. Abolishing Slavery; Slavery In "christian" America; William Wilberforce; 6. Literacy; Luther; Tyndale; The Road To Democracy; 7. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke In The Wheel; Part Iii: It's Complicated; 8. Religious Violence; Is God Genocidal?; The European Wars Of Religion; The Troubles; Thin Vs Thick Faith; 9. Witch Hunts; The Salem Witch Trials; Part Iv: Surprises; 10. Missionaries; The "new Hollanders"; The Missionary Effect; The Serampore Trio; 11. The Humility Revolution; 12. Christianity And Women; Part V: Big Ideas; 13. The Image Of God; Imago Dei; The Genesis Of Human Rights; 14. Non-violence; Are Christians Pacifists?; The Sword That Heals; Why Non-violent Resistance Works; 15. Compassion; "we Lepers": Father Damien Of Molokai; Suffering With; Part Vi. To Change The World; 16. Powers And Authorities; Lord Shaftesbury: A Heart For The Poor; Florence Nightingale: The Lady With The Lamp; 17. Social Capital; Conclusion: So What?; Appendices; The Tune Jesus Wrote; List Of Interviewees; Index