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    History: Infant Christendom

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    In an interview in The Legend of the Middle Ages: Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (p. 22), Remi Brague argues that the early Christians transformed everything because they were obsessed with Christ not “Christianity itself.”  They tracked “the reverberations of his coming in the whole of human existence.”

    But this tracking was not instantaneous: “It took centuries to translate Christian reality into institutions.  Think of the time it took for the Church to reverse inveterate habits and impost the consent of the engaged couple as the sole indispensable condition for marriage.  The famous monogamous marriage that we now call ‘traditional’ was in fact a hard-won innovation.”

    He closes the interview by asking whether Christianity “has had the time to translate the totality of its contents into institutions.”  He thinks not: “I have the impression that instead we are still at the beginning stages of Christianity.”

    posted by Peter J. Leithart on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm