Episode 087: An Interview with Tom Holland Pt. 2

In this episode we sit down for the second of a two part interview with best-selling writer and historian Tom Holland talking about his breathtaking book Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World. This is part 2 of 2.

No one rejects the concept of human rights… but when you ask, “Where did you get that idea from and why do you believe in them?” it is ultimately as theological idea as believing that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the third day…

Human rights do not objectively exist… you can’t say that you’re superior to theology and superstition and simultaneously say you believe in human rights… if you believe in human rights you may as well say you believe in angels…

The deep-seated assumption that empires are bad—you have you ask, “Where does THAT come from?” That idea might just conceivably have something to do with the fact that the prime emblem of the faith is a cross, which is the ultimate subversion of the symbol of imperial power…

The idea that it is possible for an entire society to be born again is so powerful that it brings emperors to kneel in the snow… it is revolutionary… but then the church will need to be corrected, which gives rise to the revolution of the Reformation, which gives rise to the revolution of the Enlightenment…

I found that in the process of researching this book, there was no period of Christian history that did not offer great riches and nourishment…

This book felt like a pilgrimage to me, but I didn’t know where I was going to end up… I found when I reached the journey’s end, I felt that my life had been hugely enriched by it… I had my heart opened to things that I otherwise would have been shut off from…

I wanted to write about my godmother because when she died, I left her feeling like that was it… that she would die and be dissolved and that would be it… but now I am not so confident in that… I wouldn’t say it has hardened into Christian faith, but my disbelief is gone…

When you live in a time of crisis, suddenly the sense of belonging to many generations of people who have faced much worse crises but using the same spiritual and emotional and moral framework that we have is incredibly powerful…

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