Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top Ten Books I Read in 2011, #9

Number 9 is... Europe and the Faith by Hillaire Belloc

I had written a post a few months back about the book. Belloc writes with the zeal of a revert and the intelligence of an Oxford scholar. He hits the nail on the head about the movement and flow of European history. His oft quoted line, "Europe is the faith, and the faith is Europe," is the premise of the book.

The reason it makes the list over other books is its revolutionary quality to me. European history had always been communicated to me within the intellectual context of the secular Enlightenment. To see the history of Europe through the eyes of the Church (not in a biased way but through historical evidence) was, well, eye opening.

His conclusion was so profound and has played out since his death. If we betray the church we betray Europe because historically Europe exists due to the Church. We have watched as Europe has forsaken the faith and in turn begun to destroy itself. It began with Luther and has slowly gone downhill since then.

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