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Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home [Paperback]

By Glenn S. Sunshine (Author)
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Item description for Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home by Glenn S. Sunshine...

Overview
This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates how Christianity transformed pagan Roman culture into one that established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization. It uniquely discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative instead of simply cataloguing them.

Publishers Description
People often talk about worldview when describing the philosophy that guides their lives. But how have we come by our worldviews, and what impact did Christianity have on those that are common to Western civilization?This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates the decisive impact that the growth of Christianity had in transforming the outlook of pagan Roman culture into one that, based on biblical concepts of humanity and its relationship with God, established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization.The two-pronged assault in our time on the biblically based worldview by postmodern philosophy and the writings of neo-atheists has made it even more crucial that we acknowledge and defend its historical roots.Unique among books on the topic, this work discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative rather than as simply a catalogue of ideas, and traces the effects changes in worldview had on society. It helps readers understand their own worldviews and those of other people and helps them recognize the consequences that worldviews hold. Professors, students, and armchair historians alike will profit from this book.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Zondervan
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 6.48" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 3, 2009
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310292301  
ISBN13  9780310292302  
UPC  025986292300  


Availability  3570 units.
Availability accurate as of Nov 22, 2017 02:12.
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Publishers description for Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home...


People often talk about worldview when describing the philosophy that guides their lives. But how have we come by our worldviews, and what impact did Christianity have on those that are common to Western civilization?This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates the decisive impact that the growth of Christianity had in transforming the outlook of pagan Roman culture into one that, based on biblical concepts of humanity and its relationship with God, established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization.The two-pronged assault in our time on the biblically based worldview by postmodern philosophy and the writings of neo-atheists has made it even more crucial that we acknowledge and defend its historical roots.Unique among books on the topic, this work discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative rather than as simply a catalogue of ideas, and traces the effects changes in worldview had on society. It helps readers understand their own worldviews and those of other people and helps them recognize the consequences that worldviews hold. Professors, students, and armchair historians alike will profit from this book.


More About Glenn S. Sunshine

Glenn S. Sunshine is Professor and Chair of theHistory Department at Central Connecticut University in New Britain, Connecticut. He is the author of a number of articles and books, including "Reforming French Protestantism: The Development of Huguenot Ecclesiastical Institutions".

Glenn S. Sunshine was born in 1958.
Glenn S. Sunshine has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Armchair Theologians


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Departments

1Academic > Theology > Worldly Theology
2Christian Books > Christian Living
3Christian Books > Missions & Evangelism
4Christian Books > Non Fiction > History > Ancient
5Christian Books > Non Fiction > Philosophy
6Christian Books > Theology



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Reviews - What do customers think about Why You Think The Way You Do?

A Must Read!  Feb 7, 2010
This is a unique view of history from a worldview perspective with a conclusion that is chilling!
 
Excellent  Jan 7, 2010
It is concise and easy to read, even in the dry spots. Especially surprising is that he is a college prof who seems to not be afraid to describe "postmodernism" and all its branches for what it is. It was very helpful to read through this history with Christ in mind.
 
Insightful for the past and present  Dec 25, 2009
I recently finished reading Glenn Sunshine's new book Why You Think the Way You Do. This book is basically a history of the western worldview. The author begins with Rome and moves into the advent of Christianity. With the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity, the western world moved into the middle ages. The author gives a nice outline of what life was like in the medieval world. He tackles advancements in religion and science and the appearance of the renaissance and the reformation. With the rise of modernism and the enlightenment there was further transformation of worldview. The author ends off with a look at postmodernism, which he sees as a return to Rome with the declining influence of Christianity. This book is quite remarkable. Considering it deals with history, politics, economics, philosophy and religion, it is very readable. The book is full of information and at the same time the author is able to keep the reader's attention. This book is important for reminding us that our world does not exist in a vacuum but that our current worldview is built on thousands of years of development and change. A helpful book for understanding history and the issues of today.
 
Chuck Colson recommends this book.  Dec 10, 2009
[...]

Sadly, Americans these days are notorious for their ignorance of world history. Ask the average American who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, or what happened in 1066, or where the Battle of the Bulge took place, and you will probably get a look of, "I don't know."
Even worse, this lack of historical knowledge goes beyond mere dates, people, and places. It extends to our understanding of the various worldviews which have shaped culture, especially Western culture, for the past 2,000 years.
That's why I'm glad to report that a new book by my good friend, history professor Glenn Sunshine, addresses this problem in a highly readable survey of Western worldviews "from Rome to home." The book, entitled Why You Think the Way You Do, is built on the premise that as a society's dominant worldview changes, so too does its culture--for good or ill.
The book begins by outlining the dominant worldview of Rome, paganism, which resulted in a "glittering empire" with a "rotten core." We rightly applaud the positive hallmarks of Roman civilization: prosperity, vigorous trade, education, efficient government, and the rule of law. But we also remember the Romans for their widespread use of slave labor; their brutal exercise of authority to suppress revolts; their violent entertainment; the widespread practice of abortion and infanticide; and their decadence, gluttony, and sexual perversions. (Sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it?)

Into that dark, violent world came the light of Christianity, which began to change the hearts and minds of diverse groups of people throughout the empire.

Instead of devaluing life, Christians promoted a worldview in which every individual is important because he or she is created in God's image. This led Christians in the Roman Empire to oppose the gladiatorial games, to elevate the status of women and girls, to reduce the number of abortions and end the practice of infanticide, and to oppose slavery.
While Rome eventually collapsed in the fifth century, Christianity and the Church have survived through the ages. Glenn's book shows us Christianity's impact throughout history, from the Irish Christians who saved Western civilization, to the medieval age, to the attempts of Enlightenment philosophers to undermine faith, to modernity and then postmodernity.
Glenn shows how we can see the clash between biblical and anti-biblical worldviews in every age--and then learn something about how we can counter lies with God's truth in our own time and place.
It may not matter so much if Christians can't answer questions about Napoleon or the Battle of the Bulge, but we cannot afford to be ignorant about the various worldviews that oppose God's truth.
If we are, then we will find it difficult, if not impossible, to fulfill the commands to be "salt" and "light" for our generation as the ancient Christians were for theirs.
As we hope, pray, and work for revival, we can find in the book Why You Think the Way You Do a valuable tool in helping us "destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."
 
Uniquely comprehensive  Oct 11, 2009
The most unusual thing about this book is that, while it is written by a professor, about an academic topic, it is presented in a "popular" format. From the look and feel of the book, to its lack of bibliography and minimal footnotes, and most importantly to its easier prose and explanations, it's not what I expected at all!

On the other hand, it does do something which very little contemporary thought does -- connect the dots from the beginning of the Western story to now. Sunshine explains what the Roman culture was like, how it was changed by Christian ideals, and finally how it is "changing back" as Christian influence wanes. The last chapter of the book ties this together very well. Put all together it is a compelling story -- the great achievements of our civilization (most importantly the discovery of modern science, and human freedom) were because of Christian ideas and we are losing the foundation upon which they were built. This breaks not only the spell of Marxist anti-Western views of history, it also breaks the spell of pro-Western but anti-Christian versions of the story.

Midway through the book, I was encouraged in realizing that thinkers like Sunshine and Rodney Stark who he draws on, are bringing our view of the past out of the captivity it was held in by the anti-Christian stream of the Enlightenment. This is actually what makes the best part of the book -- he casually explodes myth after myth by presenting facts that are not widely broadcast such as the fact that no scholar of the Middle Ages believed in the flat earth! The net it is present a different view of the past. The breadth of areas where Sunshine does this must have required a lot of work and insight -- it's too bad he doesn't document it and bring this up to a more academic level. He interleaves philosophy, history and political science well to tell his story.

The final chapter was however personally discouraging. It was a realistic look at the kind of ideologies currently being advanced in our society. It was hard to read through this list without a sense of being overwhelmed or hopeless understanding that these ideas will have dire consequences in the future.
 

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Are you local to the Atlanta area? Stop by our store in Suwanee, GA and browse our products. Since our store inventory differs from our online inventory, go to our Atlanta Christian Warehouse page or to DeeperCatalog.com to see what we have in stock.

Churches are Welcome as we have a large selection of church supplies and our communion supply prices are typically much less than our competitors.
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