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Sunday Lecture: Myths of Christian Europe

Kenan Malik examines the 'myths' of Europe's Christian past.

It has become received wisdom, even among atheists, that Christianity forms the bedrock of European, and indeed Western, culture and that the political ideals and ethical values of ‘Western civilization’ are underpinned by the Judeo-Christian tradition. Many also argue that the erosion of Christianity will lead inevitably to the erosion of modern, liberal democracy. This talk rethinks the idea of ‘Christian Europe’, and lays to rest many of the myths and misconceptions about the Christian tradition, from the idea of Original Sin to the impact of the Reformation. It suggests that the history of Christianity, its relationship to other ethical traditions, and the relationship between Christian values and those of modern, liberal, secular societies is far more complex than is often realized. Christianity is only one of many sources of modern European culture, and many of what we now think of as bedrock values were in fact borrowed from non-Christian cultures and traditions. The erosion of Christianity will not necessarily lead to the erosion of liberal democratic values. The contemporary drive to erect cultural ramparts may well do so.

Kenan Malik is a doggedly rationalist author and journalist. His personal website is http://www.kenanmalik.com/.


Kenan Malik | talks | www


Date and Time:

22 January 2012 at 11:00 am


2 hours



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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£3 on the door/free to SPES members.

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