My Top 10 Most Important Reads in 2021: #6 Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade The World by Tom Holland

Previous Entries:
#10: The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan by Tom Shore
#9: Think Again; The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant
#8: The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War by Louis Menand
#7 In Pursuit of Disobedient Women: A Memoir of Love, Rebellion, and Family Far Away by Dionne Searcey

#6 Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World by tom Holland

There is a fair criticism that coud be made about Holland’s recent work on historical relevance of the Christian revolution that it spreads itself too thin in terms of being able to adequately represent all the scholarship availale. There simply isn’t space to give it due diligence given how much space he wants to cover without the page count running far too wide for it to reach popular appeal. This is relegated to the bibliography, which in itself is worth the price. However, this does not, or should not in my opinion, detract from the main thesis Holland is trying to establish, which is visibe and undeniable impact of the Christian revolution on human history in social, evolutionary, and societal expressions.

It’s worth noting that Holland writes as an agnostic and a historian not a Christian nor a theologian. This work is the culmination of a process of thought that has been occupying him for some time, and claims about God’s existence aside, he recognized that once he set some of his personal biases aside something happened with the evidence that he could not shake or simply ignore. This humbled his position as a historian and compelled him to dig further in order to test if this perception and account of history had any substance and truth. This book is his basic argument that it does and I think he makes an extremely compelling case.

So why is this important? For me this is important on two levels. i would not want to coopt this to fuel some kind of Christian apologetic. That would do this scholarly work a disservice. I do think his demonstrating humility in the seeking out of of knowledge and truth is an extremely worthwhile trait that scholarship can learn from. I also think this helps to dispel certain hard and fast assumptions about religon in general, which if we could employ in our online and verbal discussions could go a long ways in turning them towards more helpful and fruitful engagement.

Published by davetcourt

I am a 40 something Canadian with a passion for theology, film, reading writing and travel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: