Since we’ve been talking about stereotypes (at least by implication), here’s some weekend reading that clears up some of the more pernicious urban legends concerning the history of Christian civilization. Start with two older pieces from James Franklin:
“Myths about the Middle Ages”
“The Renaissance Myth”
And continue with two from Thomas Madden:
“The Real History of the Crusades”
“The Truth about the Spanish Inquisition”
There’s a lot more that could be said about these and related topics (e.g. Columbus) but that should suffice for whatever dinner party you might attend this evening, where the sensitive “progressive” types present will be extremely gratified to hear you expose some false stereotypes about an unpopular religious tradition.