Christianity Transforms Pagan Culture

Harold Eberle in his book Compassionate Capitalism: A Judeo-Christian Value, highlights how the spread of Christianity continued to transform the pagan culture of ancient Europe…

Great Christian thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and other catholic theologians strongly defended rights for personal property and personal gain. It was during this period that money became a more common currency of exchange allowing more people to accumulate wealth. The Great Plague killed one third of the population of Europe, decimating the labor force and allowing surfs to take jobs, which paid wages. Soon the masses were able to enter a labor force which ran more according to capitalistic principles.

Capitalism was one of the major triumphs of the Judeo-Christian ethic over Greek and Roman thought. It was the system that eventually freed the Western world from the oppression of the powerful over the mass of humanity by giving each person the opportunity to advance. Capitalism allowed a middle class to arise and displace the ruling aristocracy. It also catapulted the Western world ahead of other civilizations that did not embrace the Judeo-Christian worldview.

During the 11thand through the 14thcenturies business and commerce accelerated and numerous guilds were formed to organize the various trades in to associations. The guilds established guidelines for good business. Later…Livery Companies emerged which were solidly tied to the church and dedicated to promote righteous ethics in business. At a time when dishonest scales were commonplace, the Livery Companies verified weights and measures, along with promoting high standards of excellence. This eventually led to a change in the business climate in Europe.

Another triumph of the Judeo- Christian values was the instilling of compassion in Western civilization. You see…the ancient pagan religions offered no motives for charity. Stoic philosophers taught that it was disrespectful to even associate with the weak or poor. More on this next week…

 

Source: Compassionate Capitalism – A Judeo-Christian Valueby Harold Eberle, 2010, Worldcast Publishing.

 

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