Maurice Sachot

When Christianism changed the world Publication date : March 15, 2007

August 24, 410: Rome is sacked by the Visigoths under Alaric I.
September 11, 2001: The Twin Towers collapse, following an attack by two hijacked aeroplanes.
Just as the Sack of Rome sounded the death knell of the civilisation of Antiquity, so perhaps does the destruction of the World Trade Center mark the weakening of Western supremacy.
Between these two dates Maurice Sachot explores what he regards as the foundations of Western civilisation. He contends that even secularism, which seems to characterise Western ascendancy over the rest of the world, defines itself in relation to Christianity. It is thus the history of the Christianisation of the world that he tells here, focussing on the period when it began — the transition from Antiquity to the Latin world.
This is not only a history of the Catholic Church, or of Christian theology and religious communities; it is also a powerful, ambitious attempt to reveal the pillars on which Western culture stands.

The author, a specialist in the history of religion, addresses the following questions: What has Christianity contributed to the world? What are the traits that define what we know as Western civilisation, and which have existed through the ages and across national borders?
The author shows how Christianity has changed the world and shaped the way we think, even when we have struggled and fought against it. He argues that Christianity has informed our relations to institutions and to learning, our notion of community, and the status of faith.
This brilliant synthesis sheds light on a number of crucial contemporary issues.

A former teacher of patristic languages at the Faculty of Catholic Theology, Maurice Sachot now teaches educational studies at the University of the Humanities of Strasbourg. He is the author of L’Invention du Christ (1997).