The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success
by Rodney Stark, a review from The New Republic Online by Alan Wolfe
"'Had the followers of Jesus remained an obscure Jewish sect,' concludes Rodney Stark in his new book, 'most of you would not have learned to read and the rest of you would be reading from hand-copied scrolls.' I had always known that Jesus Christ was a pretty important person, but I had not quite realized that were it not for him, there would be no one to buy Rodney Stark's books. Jesus, Stark goes on, is responsible for more than liberating us from scrolls; to him goes the credit for all of Western civilization. If he had remained a Jew, we would live in a despotic world bereft of science and reason. Lots of women would die giving birth, and a significant percentage of children would not live past age five.... Thought experiments have their place, but Stark's, it must immediately be said, is vile." Read the entire New Republic review.