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Is Religion the Driving Force Behind Human Civilization?

In a brief article in the ‘Opinion‘ section of New Scientist titled “Should We Thank God for Civilization” recently discusses how the current model of how civilizations first developed in human history is being challenged, namely with the discovery of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey.

As the article states:

The answer once seemed clear: food. Farming was more efficient than foraging and so people gravitated towards it. Cities, writing and organised religion soon followed… Yet the people who built them were nomads, not farmers. So the radical suggestion now is that it was not agriculture that drove the revolution, but religion. Some archaeologists oppose this idea, arguing that the ruins could have been domestic buildings, or were once surrounded by dwellings that did not survive. But the ceremony-first model is in the ascendancy, supported by further evidence unearthed in the Levant.

Keep in mind that Göbekli Tepe dates back to around 11,000 BCE.  That in and of itself is amazing.

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UPDATE: Chapter 24: Not Peace but a Sword (1913-60) – Part I – Mussolini, the Vatican State, and the Armenian Genocide

 

Lateran Treaty

The Pope was gifted the Vatican statehood by dictator Benito Mussolini in the Lateran Treaty of 1929. Here Cardinal Gaspari (representing Pope Pius XI) and Mussolini sign the treaty.

 

 

Last Tuesday we completed and went over the first half of Chapter 24.

 

In this first half of this chapter, we’re covering the groundwork of our modern age into the 20th and 21st centuries.  Here we saw the decline of Christendom in Europe.  During our discussion, we all agreed that Christendom was faltering for the most part as a dominant political (and even social/spiritual) institution from the 18th century onwards, but its decline was precipitated by the start of World War I.

 

To say the least, the start of the 20th century was marked by brutality and upheaval of enormous proportions, especially with the onslaught of World War I.

 

Here are our essays for the first half of this chapter.

 

 

Chapter 24: Not Peace but a Sword (1913-60) – Part I

Happy New Year!

For our first meeting of 2015 for next week, please read the first three sections of Chapter 24: A War That Killed Christendom (1914-18); Great Britain: The Last Years of Christian Empire; Catholics and Christ the King: The Second Age of Catholic Missions.

 

American soldier dies during a German gas attack during WWI.  May, 1918.

American soldier dies during a German gas attack during WWI. May, 1918.

 

 

Please answer one of the following questions:

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