A Dialog with a Critic: When Athens Met Jerusalem

Eidos | 8/25/2019 | Staff
malik778 (Posted by) Level 3
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This claim is simple, bold, with the elegance of being wrong about everything consistently. As a result, any response threatens to get bogged down with long list of positive cultural developments in the West, starting with the scientific revolution**, that are partially due to Christianity. Book length answers are common, a Pope spoke on the topic fairly recently, even I introduce Greek culture from a Christian perspective in When Athens Met Jerusalem.

I am tempted to provide links and stop.

Willams - Answer - Claims - Dante - Christain

I shall not stop, because Willams deserves a more succinct answer and one that is more charitable than merely pointing to his dubious artistic and literary claims. When Dante, the great Christain humanist who gave us the beatific vision of Paradise and the hope of Purgatory along with modern Italian as an aside, is reduced to his Inferno, one could merely abandon hope in Williams as a reader. Worse Williams says of Bach: “within tight bounds there is an authentic passion, but also an imposed fussiness – the constraint of dogma” When even an agnostic can say of Bach, often called the consummate composer:

“It’s irresistible in its persuasiveness,” he admits. “I cannot deny that even if my logical mind says ‘no’ – my soul, my spirit says, ‘This can only have come from somebody who has a totally credible and believable sense of godhead and the futility of human existence; [these are] the aspirations that are necessary to make sense of our lives…’”

Temptation - Williams - People - Music - Dogma

there is an overwhelming temptation to think Williams, like all people who view music through dogma, has allowed anti-theist brays from Nietzsche to deafen him.

There is a fatal weakness at the heart of William’s argument: Greek and Roman culture only mattered in the West because Christians decided they did. This is a strength of Christian culture and this strength depended...
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