In February, Yale University Press will release The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth:
Restoring Our Democratic Ideals¬†by Burton L. Mack (Claremont School of Theology). The publisher’s description follows:

rise-and-fall-of-the-christian-mythA preeminent scholar explores the evolution of the Christian worldview and argues that it no longer offers a satisfactory vision for our democratic, multicultural society

This book is the culmination of a lifelong scholarly inquiry into Christian history, religion as a social institution, and the role of myth in the history of religions. Mack shows that religions are essentially mythological and that Christianity in particular has been an ever-changing mythological engine of social formation, from Roman times to its distinct American expression in our time.

The author traces the cultural influence of the Christian myth that has persisted for sixteen hundred years but now should be much less consequential in our social and cultural life, since it runs counter to our democratic ideals. We stand at a critical impasse: badly splintered by conflicting groups pursuing their own social interests, a binding common myth needs to be established by renewing a truly cohesive national and international story rooted in our democratic and egalitarian origins, committed to freedom, equality, and vital human values.

One thought on “Mack, “The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth”

  1. It is important to note that it is not possible to restore our Democratic ideals while denying the self-evident truth that it Is God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, The Author of Life, of Love, and of Marriage, not Caesar or John Locke, Who Has Endowed us with our unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to The Pursuit of Happiness at the moment of our conception, when we were created and brought into being, in The Image and Likeness of God, The Ordered Communion of Perfect Complementary Love- equal in Dignity, while being complementary as a beloved son or daughter.

    Since it is true that all persons have the inherent Right to come to know, Love, and serve The True God in this life, so that Hopefully, we can be with God and our beloved forever, in Heaven, and thus we can know through both Faith and reason, that error has no rights, may I suggest this book instead, since every lost gospel, is still in essence, a false gospel?

    “As we all know and as many of our well-established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called “Hitler’s Pope,” the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long-held beliefs were all wrong? In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and the bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity, argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth? In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth.”

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