Cover image for Christianity on trial : arguments against anti-religious bigotry
Christianity on trial : arguments against anti-religious bigotry
Carroll, Vincent.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Encounter Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
xviii, 244 pages ; 23 cm
Reading Level:
1440 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BT1250 .C33 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In "Christianity on Trial," Vincent Carroll and David Shiflett do not shrink from confronting the tragedies that have been perpetrated throughout the ages in the name of Christianity. But they argue that the current indulgence of anti-Christian rhetoric in our culture not only involves bad taste, but tunnel vision and willful historical illiteracy as well. Carroll and Shiflett dispassionately consider the indictment of Christianity--specifically that it has justified racism and misogyny, encouraged ignorance, and promoted the despoliation of the environment and even justified genocide. Then, in a narrative whose intellectual elegance and verve calls up comparisons to "How the Irish Saved Civilization," they answer these charges, showing how in fact the Christian tradition has not only injected morality into our political order, but softened brutal practices and confining superstitions, created the foundation for intellectual inquiry, and created the compassionate! impulse. "Christianity on Trial" challenges readers of all beliefs--even those with a belief in disbelief itself--to question the anti-religious bigotry that thrives in our intellectual world and to reevaluate the role of Christianity not only as a source of consolation but of enlightenment and human liberation as well.

Author Notes

Vincent Carroll is editor of the editorial pages at the Rocky Mountain News. He lives in Denver
David C. Shiflett is a freelance writer living in Midlothian, Virginia

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Extravagant charges have lately been laid, or in some cases relaid, at Christianity's door. Christianity encouraged and apologized for slavery. Christianity, anti-Semitic from its outset, refused to prevent or protest the Holocaust, and Pope Pius XII is especially culpable. Christianity has obstructed the growth of science. Christianity has resisted democracy, tolerance, equality, individuality, and all the other values intrinsic to Western culture and the U.S., in particular. The problem with these condemnations is, of course, that they are all false, as Carroll and Shiflett demonstrate by restating the historical record and core Christian teachings and by putting specific events, such as the Crusades, and practices, such as slavery, in historical and cross-cultural perspective. They don't deny genuine wrongdoing by Christians and churches but balance the wrongs with the much larger record of right doing by Christians and churches. They back their presentation almost exclusively with the findings of secular scholars. They write intelligently and uncondescendingly but very accessibly and with enough animation to pull readers into and speed them through each chapter. Superb argumentation. --Ray Olson

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
1 Christianity and the Foundation of the Westp. 1
2 Christianity and Slaveryp. 24
3 Christianity and Sciencep. 54
4 Christianity and the Slaughter of the Innocentsp. 86
5 Christianity and the Third Reichp. 112
6 Christianity and Charityp. 139
7 Christianity and the Environmentp. 162
8 Christianity and American Democracyp. 176
Conclusionp. 205
Notesp. 213
Acknowledgmentsp. 229
Indexp. 231