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Was Christianity responsible for the decline of the classical world?

Was Christianity responsible for the decline of the classical world?

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September 8, 2023

Question: Was Christianity responsible for the decline of the classicalworld?

 Answer: I don't think so. I think Rome was in decline for a long timeafter it stopped being a republic and became imperial. I think thedecisive generations here are the generations before and after Julius Caesar,and that's already like two generations before the lifetime of Jesus.

 Now, thereafter Rome did have many good elements, but it was increasingly about political domination especially in the bad sense, increasing bureaucracy and the spread of more decadent cultural philosophies. So, Rome had been in slow decline for centuries and Christianity was just one of many religions kicking around the Mediterranean basin at the time. 

 By the time it became the official state religion in the early 300's, Rome was already declined and ripe for the picking.

Stephen Hicks Ph.D.
About the author:
Stephen Hicks Ph.D.

Stephen R. C. Hicks, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society.

He is author of The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010),  Entrepreneurial Living (CEEF, 2016), Liberalism Pro and Con (Connor Court, 2020), Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond (with Michael Newberry, 2021) and Eight Philosophies of Education (2022). He has published in Business Ethics Quarterly, Review of Metaphysics, and The Wall Street Journal. His writings have been translated into 20 languages.

He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland, Visiting Fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University, England, and Visiting Professor at Jagiellonian University, Poland.

His B.A. and M.A. degrees are from the University of Guelph, Canada. His Ph.D. in Philosophy is from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

His Open College podcast series is published by Possibly Correct Productions, Toronto. His video lectures and interviews are online at CEE Video Channel, and his website is StephenHicks.org.  


Instagram Takeover Questions:

Every week we solicit questions from our 100K followers on Instagram (a social media platform popular with young people. Once a month we feature Stephen Hicks' answers to select questions, transcripts below:


Also several articles, selected for likely interest to Objectivist audiences:

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