• The Victory of Reason

  • How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success
  • By: Rodney Stark
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

In The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark advances a revolutionary, controversial, and long overdue idea: that Christianity and its related institutions are, in fact, directly responsible for the most significant intellectual, political, scientific, and economic breakthroughs of the past millennium.

In Stark's view, what has propelled the West is not the tension between secular and non-secular society, nor the pitting of science and the humanities against religious belief. Christian theology, Stark asserts, is the very font of reason: While the world's other great belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic and reason as the path toward enlightenment, freedom, and progress.

That is what made all the difference. In explaining the West's dominance, Stark convincingly debunks long-accepted "truths". For instance, by contending that capitalism thrived centuries before there was a Protestant work ethic - or even Protestants - he counters the notion that the Protestant work ethic was responsible for kicking capitalism into overdrive.

©2005 Rodney Stark (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Victory of Reason

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Absolutely incredible history book!

While I am devout Christian, and have always believed that Christianity was profoundly important to the development of the West, I had absolutely no idea how deep an impact Christianity had on the West and our modern world until I listened to this book. Rodney Stark is a national treasure and should be more widely known.

My one modest critique of this audiobook is that the narrator is a bit dry. I did have to rewind multiple times because I lost focus—I did not want to miss one line of this incredible book!

3 people found this helpful

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The Progress of Western Civilization Explained

The book does an excellent job explaining the root causes for the development of western civilization. It covers the development of science, technology, politics and capitalism. The book compares and contrast why these areas developed in the West and not in other countries with great clarity and logic.

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Essential for today's changing times (2018)

this book shows that the essential elements of capitalism include the belief system of Christianity because of its reasoned approach to nature and to God. concise comprehensive well narrated full of details and facts. Rodney does it again.

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Excellent overview of the sweep of capitalism

Easy to read and understand overview of the history of capitalism and its links to Christianity and other associated cultural developments that allowed for its rise.
Easy to understand and well documented with a considerable bibliography to support claims. Not just another book written entirely out of the author's idealogical views. I appreciate this whether I agree with the claims or not, at least the author gives me the opportunity to review his sources and make an opinion for myself.
Easy to read. Suitable for YA readers if you wanted to hand your teenager a book about history they would likely prefer over a typical text book.

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EXCELLENT!

This should be required reading in colleges and high schools. Gives great insight into how the west came to be. Explanation of the myth of the dark ages lies lots into perspective.

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Great

Technical but very informative. We already knew this but they are writing overtime to rewrite history. Thank you for preservation.

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Good Read!

Very informative. Consider it a warm up to his larger How The West Won. Great read!

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Christians Have Every Reason to Rejoice

I love Rodney Stark. He is constantly challenging the flat accepted history with vital new interpretations of data creating a vivid and convincing sketch of the past in a sweeping panorama. Stark is a favorite.

1 person found this helpful