Stark Nepotism
Tuesday November 17th 2009, 9:35 am
Filed under: Books,Patristics

It’s no secret to readers of this blog that I’m a fan of the sociologist Rodney Stark. His book The Rise of Christianity has influenced me probably more than any other book on the patristic era. His Cities of God is a worthy follow-up.

Dr. Stark has now marched on to the Middle Ages with his new book God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades. Mark Sullivan interviewed him recently on a wide range of matters, and has now posted the interview on his blog. (Mark is, by the way, my nephew, flesh of my sister Susie’s flesh and bone of her bones.)

3 Comments so far
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My compliments to Professor Stark for writing a much-needed corrective to some of the modern writings on this subject. I have been aware for years that the Crusades were basically defensive in nature, but Stark lays it out for all to see. Very courageous, too, in the current climate.

Comment by Carl Sommer 11.17.09 @ 10:42 am

And my compliments to Mike Aquilina for drawing our attention to this book. I haven’t read it, but I have read reviews, and as a historian of the crusades I can say that it looks like a wonderful, and long overdue, contribution on the subject. I can’t wait to get the book itself. Thanks, Mike!

Comment by Paul Crawford 11.18.09 @ 12:35 am

Stark’s book might seem to make a plausible case to the non-specialist, but critical analysis shows it is riddled with errors, full of convenient use of selective evidence and undermined by flawed arguments. He manages to debunk a few myths about the Crusades, but his apologetic argument simply does not work.

For detailed critical analysis see:

Comment by Tim O'Neill 05.14.10 @ 6:02 pm

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