In the Name of God: The Making of Global Christianity

In the Name of God: The Making of Global Christianity

In the Name of God: The Making of Global Christianity

In the Name of God: The Making of Global Christianity

Synopsis

From the conquistadores in Central and South America to the Jesuits in China, Edmondo Lupieri traces the consequences of European war and conquest for global cultural identities from the age of exploration to the present. In the Name of God exposes the economic, political, and religious justifications and motivations behind the European conquests and uncovers some of the historical roots of genocide, racism, and "just war."

Lupieri's animated and comprehensive historical-sociological study masterfully weaves together a tapestry of ideas, individuals, and people groups, linking them throughout to present-day realities in often surprising ways. Unflinchingly critical, Lupieri describes how European-indigenous encounters have shaped Christianity -- and the world -- irrevocably.

Excerpt

April 29, 2011

The author of this book is a middle-aged, middle-class white, partially Americanized European historian turned theologian. and a Catholic.

This book is not a book of history. It is a book with many stories. Stories that I chose because I thought they were important and meaningful to me. and I thought they could be so to others as well. While writing it, I had several goals. One of the most important ones was to show that our European ancestors were not ethically, nor religiously, nor even culturally ready to conquer the rest of the planet. Technological superiority and hunger for power allowed and generated the conquest, even if it took place “in the name of God.” Some individuals were wonderfully ahead of their times and, had they had enough power, the “conquest” would have been something different. Others made tremendous mistakes in good faith, but most acted out of sheer interest, either their own personal interest or the interest of a group they represented. Having said this, I am not so naïve as to think that other people or countries would have done much better. You cannot do history with “ifs,” but, if the Arabs, or the Turks, or the Mongols, or the Chinese had managed to conquer Europe and “discover” the rest of the world, can we sincerely believe that it would have been better? No doubt history would have been different, and we would be different too; but the brutality of massacres that punctuate the histories of non-European civilizations has nothing to envy over the European one.

This might mean that something is wrong. From a strictly historical and biological perspective, the biblical narrative of Adam and Eve is nothing else than a mythological construction to explain evil on earth without blaming God (and a couple of other things, like the implementation of sabbath observance). But, independently of the fact that we may accept it . . .

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