Athens, Jerusalem, and Mecca

There was an Aristotelian thread and a Platonist thread in Christian thought from early on.

Aristotle himself was lost to the West for a while — not because of some mythical “stranglehold”  the church had on larger society, but because of the cultural disaster called the fall of Rome, which took centuries to recover from.

Greek was preserved by Christian and Moslem scholars,  then Aristotle was translated into Latin.   The church set about incorporating Aristotle but Islam finally rejected him.

Aristotle was propogated, debated, and refined by Christian academics.  There was at least two related but distinct debates going on concurrently:  Platonic metaphysics vs. Aristotelian metaphysics, and Aristotelian logic vs. Aristotle’s content.   BOTH these debates occurred within Christendom.

Much of the tension over empirical methods was a debate between Aristotle and Aristotle:  the implications of Aristotle’s logic versus Aristotle’s earlier “observations”.

None of this is to say there was NO resistance on the part of the church to scientific conclusions which seemed to contradict scripture — there was, but recognize that huge debates which CONTRIBUTED to the elaboration of the scientific method took place within the church, among men who were devoted sons of the church and scientists in germ.

Science is Aristotle’s method.  After Aristotle’s substantive errors were cleared out, the Renaissance and Enlightenment flared up, in a SPACE created by Jesus.

In the Christian West, Jesus’ words inserted a SPACE between the state and religion.  The separation of church and state is an implication of Jesus’ attitude to the state in the NT.

Islam lacks the words of Jesus.   Hence, there is no space between secular power and real or imagined religious truth.  In Islam, the natural tendency of religions to demand compliance with their worldview choked off Aristotle when his method began to produce conclusions at odds with Islam.

In Christendom, there was a great struggle, but the Jesus space survived and expanded to allow the Aristotelian explosion of knowledge in the Modern West.

So science comes from Aristotle’s brain,  plus Jesus’ attitude toward coercion.

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