I am a professor of History, published author, and I also teach Theology and Humanities at my ostensibly Christian university. I am a married father of one, with one more coming (and I hope at least another after that).

4 Responses to About

  1. Dawn Tritch says:

    I read your comments about Venerable Bede and just wondered if you might comment on something I am having a difficult time discovering. While there are many references to Bede as a philosopher, I don’t seem to find much at all about just exactly what his philosophy actually was or consisted of. I am in the process of reading a number of his works, after recently spending a few days in Jarrow and Monkwearmouth, but don’t fully understand enough about philosophy to follow whether he is more influenced by Plato or Aristotle and why or why not.

    Thank you

  2. Cyril Jenkins says:

    Dear Dawn, I will try to work up something in the next couple days. My life has been a cross between the hurly-burly and a maelstrom, but I shall try to get to this. C

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Cyril! I’m wondering if you have read The Rise of Christianity and The Triumph of Christianity by Rodney Stark and, if so, what you think of his research?

    In particular, in light of the recent off-topic discussion of Calvin’s Geneva on the “Orthodox-Reformed Bridge” web site, I was reminded of Stark’s conclusion in the latter work that the violence of the Spanish Inquisition was quite restrained by the standards of the day and actually only 2,000 – 3,000 were executed (per recently-released Vatican records). By contrast, he asserts the Protestant persecution of Roman Catholics and Anabaptists was actually far more bloody. Can you comment on the accuracy of Stark’s assertions?

  4. Cyril Jenkins says:

    Karen, just a quick note. In those times it was not uncommon for people to inflate numbers (look at the numbers Las Casas gives for the death of American Indians). The Inquisition of the Reformation period began largely as a Spanish phenomenon aimed at Moors and Jews who claimed to be Christians, but were only so to stay in Spain, and still practiced their faith secretly. There was an Inquisition dealing with the early thirteenth century heretics, the Cathars or Albigensians, and at that time several hundred at least were killed. At least one whole village was wiped out, the occasion of that loathsome phrase by Simon de Montfort, when it was protested that there were Catholics in the village, “Kill them all. Let God sort them out.” But I don’t think that we can compare numbers Prots versus Catholics as it is hard to say what exactly this entailed. People weren’t killed in Geneva for being Catholic, as they were in Paris for being Calvinists. And those who died in France weren’t executed by the Inquisition, just as those almost 400 in England were not, but instead by acts of the Crown. The Anabaptists were another whole matter, in that they were seen as little better than the plague (or at least the rats who carry it), people who not only preached a revolutionary doctrine, but acted on it. Most Anabaptists could not escape the obloquy of either the Peasants War, or the commune at Muenster. But the Anabaptists were often equal opportunity victims, as it was a joint Lutheran-Catholic army that stormed Muenster and put the leaders to the sword.

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