Our Darkening Age
I recently noted that I have been reading Catherine Nixey's book, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, while watching local officials make our public sculptures disappear here in Charlottesville. I also noted that this choice of reading was not a coincidence. The book holds up some unflattering parallels to our own age and prompts us to ask some hard questions about how we are dealing with the clashing visions of our culture wars.
Nixey book's came out in 2017, intended as a rejoinder to the self-exculpatory Christian narrative that it was the church and its monasteries that saved the gems of Classical civilization during a period of chaos and collapse by assiduously copying out the old manuscripts in monasteries.
But as Nixey argues, and summons a persuasive body of evidence to support, the entire reason these manuscripts so desperately needed saving in the first place is because Christians had destroyed them en masse—and much else besides.