This text, written by historian Philip Jenkins, from Baylor University, could help us understand the historical background of the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. And, yes, this is, again, about Russian exceptionalism, apocalipticism and imperial drive, all clothed shrewdly in the Eastern Orthodox garments of the ‘Third Rome’.
His latest article published on the Patheos platform discusses the little known phenomenon of ‘global Christianity’ in the first centuries of Christian history, particularly in relation to the Celtic Church.
Here is the beginning of his article:
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I recently suggested that studying the history of the so-called “Dark Ages” gives a wonderful background for understanding contemporary Christianity worldwide. Nowhere is that more true, oddly, than in the central theme of globalization itself. When you explore the world of Late Antiquity, roughly from the fourth century through the ninth, you see a Christian world that was enthusiastically transcontinental, if not exactly global. Repeatedly, we see influence and ideas transmitted from old churches to new and emerging bodies, and then later returning to the parent churches in odd and unexpected ways. Continue reading “Philip Jenkins – The Ancient Inheritance”
Before characterizing Islam as inherently violent based on selected passages in the Quran, Christians should consider violent verses in the Holy Bible, historian Philip Jenkins told a recent gathering at Baylor University.
“Most religions have somewhat bloody scriptures, and the worst thing we can do is forget they are there,” said Jenkins, who recently joined Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion while jointly serving as a professor at Penn State University.
Jenkins, author of books including Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses, said Christians who view violent texts in the Old Testament as irrelevant to modern faith need to “exorcise the spirit of Marcion,” a second-century heretic who believed that Jesus Christ is savior but rejected the wrathful Hebrew God of the Old Testament.
Jenkins said Christians throughout history have handled passages like God’s blessing of genocide against Canaanites in the Promised Land in the Book of Joshua in different ways. Violent passages have been used to justify actions from the Crusades to the modern Christian Identity movement. Other Christians, he said, censor them by never talking about them in sermons or Sunday school lessons.