Continuing on with Tuesday's theme, I reviewed Rodney Stark's For the Glory of God here a while ago. I gave it a bit of a pasting, I'm afraid. It seems that Stark has not learned his lesson and his new book, The Victory of Reason, sounds every bit as bad. It's reviewed by Alan Wolfe in the New Republic and you can read that here.
Now I probably don't see eye to eye with the reveiwer, Mr Wolfe, on many matters. But he has Stark bang to rights. Although Stark overstates his case, I don't think he is actually all that wrong. Rather he doesn't do his home work, ignores counter-examples and does know the field well enough to make such sweeping claims.
The most awful thing is that Wolfe cites Charles Freeman's The Closing of the Western Mind as putting Stark to shame. This is depressing because Freeman's effort is almost as inaccurate and one-sided as Stark's (although Freeman does know his sources better and is not nearly so polemical). So, not only does Stark fail to convince a hostile reader, he also allows Wolfe to continue clinging to his comfort blanket of the old anti-Christian orthodoxies.
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