Kristendom

“For hen ved to tusinde år siden var livet for jøderne i Palæstina under det ene fremmede herredømme efter det andet blevet så uudholdeligt at de blev grebet af had til  selve livet (dette ellers så livskære og  og livsglade folk!) og ikke kunne se anden udvej for elendigheden end verdens umiddlbart forestående undergang. Sådan lød deres trøst: verden vil gå under i morgen eller i næste uge, himmerige er nær, helvede ligeså, så det skal vel nok blive sjovt at se disse rovgriske romere og disse “dannede”, umoralske grækere sprælle i svovlpølen… “Verden angår os ikke længere”: kun ud fra det synspunkt kan den kristne  moral forstås og forklares. Praktiseres kan den naturligvis ikke så længe “verden” har den uforskammethed at bestå.

Hvordan denne moral og denne religion kunne “sejre” (her er citationstegnene om nogensinde på sin plads!) over alle andre på trods af at verdens undergang udeblev, og hvordan det er gået til at den i dag er Europas  og Amerikas herskende religion –  ja det er en anden historie […]

Men at den kristne moral ikke duer for os: det er klart som solskin.”

-Hjalmar Söderberg: Tidens usle magter. Essays og aforismer. København 1992

Kristendom

“Organised Christianity came into existence, and exists, to preserve a treasure, a command to be executed, a promise to be repeated, a mission to be fulfilled. This treasure belongs to the past, present, and future; it is potential, yet active; an object of contemplation, yet the inspiration of right conduct. An unfathomable mystery, it must be related to all knowledge. And in their endeavours to guard and transmit their trust, its guardians have raised the most perplexing issues. They have caused ensless destruction of life in the name of unicersal peace. They have built up the most realistic of political systems in the effort to establisha kingdom not of this world. In the exploration of the recesses of the soul, they have developed the arts and sciences, and constructed theories of the universe. And, in their desire to satisfy the deepest needs of mankind, they have raised up against themselves the visions, prophecies, and extravagances of exitable and obstinate men., and the dislike of many sensible men.

The treasure which has caused all this activity was cast into the world with a few simple sentenecs. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God and thy neighbor as thyself. What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and loose his own soul?’ And again, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. No one cometh to the Father, save by Me. Take, eat; this is my body.’ And again, ‘Go and preach the kingdom of God. Feed my sheep. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. I have come not to bring peace, but a sword.'”

– Maurice Powicke

Hvordan piller man et representativt citat ud af en bog på 1175 sider? Svaret er at det gør man ikke! I stedet vælger man det citat som forfatteren selv har valgt at sætte som motto for sin A History of Christianity – The First Three Thousand Years. Diarmaid MacCullochs bog anbefales varmt – trods de svagheder der altid vil være med en bog der spænder så vidt på så lidt plads – som en glimrende introduktion til emnet…

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Diarmaid MacCulloch: A History of Christianity. London 2010.