How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Regnery Publishing, 2005
Foreword by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship
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“An excellent work…. We are reminded by Professor Woods that the earliest universities fostered a dialogue between faith and reason, along with logical theory and a spirit of investigation. Perhaps this is the greatest secret of Western civilization over the past four centuries. It is my cherished hope that this book will serve to unlock this hidden mystery.”
-from the foreword by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares
“This book couldn’t have come at a better time for Catholics clinging to their faith against an increasingly hostile and skeptical world…. Well argued and well researched.”
–Dallas Morning News
“Engaging and engrossing, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization is a mine of information and a stimulus for reflection on the debt we owe to Catholic life and thought.”
-Michael P. Foley, assistant professor of Patristics, Great Texts Program, Baylor University
“Dr. Woods’s book is a superb and scholarly refutation of the widespread and deeply rooted prejudice that the supernatural outlook of the Roman Catholic Church disqualifies Her to make any valuable contribution to the ‘progress’ of humanity. This book is a magnificent illustration of Christ’s saying: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice; the rest will be added unto you.’ Whether we turn to science, legal questions, economics, education, scholarship, fine arts, Dr. Woods shows convincingly the fecundity of a supernatural approach to life. This book is highly recommended.”
-Alice von Hildebrand, professor emeritus, the City University of New York
“Professor Thomas Woods has put the Catholic Church squarely back where it should be: at the center of the development of the values, ideas, science, laws, and institutions which constitute what we call Western civilization. I recommend Professor Woods’s book not only to anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church, but also to any student of the history and development of Western civilization.”
-Paul Legutko, Stanford University
“Exhaustively researched and footnoted, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization is a virtual compendium of recent research and theory on the indispensable role of the Church in European history. This is a book that should be in the home of every Catholic and anyone interested in defending and understanding the undeniably great contributions of Western Christendom and European civilization.”
-Ryan McMaken, LewRockwell.com
“Dr. Woods has provided a great service not only to the Church, but also to students of Western civilization…. Woods carefully documents his refutation of the detractors of the Church by providing an extensive bibliography and references for his work….
“Highly recommended for those studying Western Civilization, for Catholics who want to know more about what the Church has done for civilization, and especially recommended to those who are tired of the Church being denigrated and dismissed as irrelevant. A great pleasure to read!”
“Woods’ book will fascinate, delight and instruct in a manner worthy of the 20th-century historian and polemicist Hilaire Belloc, showing us how to look backwards to transform the future.”
-Rev. Fr. C. John McCloskey III, National Catholic Register
“Offers important original research (including unassailable non-Catholic sources) in a concise and intelligent manner…. Even the most zealous of the faithful will find much that will inform, challenge and delight.”
-Homiletic & Pastoral Review
“This is a book that all Catholics should read.”
-Catholic World Report
“The world, perhaps more than ever, needs books such as the one Thomas Woods has graciously written.”
-Bradley J. Birzer, Crisis
“Reminds readers of the phenomenal contribution the Church has made to the world in existence today…. Offers readers ample reasons to be proud of their Catholic heritage and provides important history in the process.”
-Our Sunday Visitor
“We know that the Church is the ark of our salvation to the next world. Thanks to Thomas Woods’ new book, we are now more familiar with the Church’s accomplishments in this world as well.”
-The Latin Mass
My own discussion of the book
Feature by Zenit, international Catholic news agency
Interview with Zenit
Interview on the Washington Post‘s Live Online
Interview with Conservative Booknotes
Interview with Human Events
Interview with Eye On Books (audio)
“We Were the Ones Who Created Europe”: The Catholic Church and Western Civilization
Which Way Forward? (on the European Union)