“God’s Philosophers” debunks many myths about the Middle Ages. Medieval people did not think the earth was flat, nor did Columbus ‘prove’ that it is a sphere. Everyone already knew. The Inquisition burnt nobody for their scientific ideas, nor was Copernicus afraid of persecution. No Pope tried to ban human dissection or the number zero.
The Middle Ages were an era of invention and rapid technological change. For example, spectacles, the mechanical clock and the windmill were all invented in thirteenth century Europe. Ideas from the Far East, like printing, gunpowder and the compass were taken further by Europeans than the Chinese had imagined possible.
Historians now utterly reject the idea that science and religion have been locked in a great conflict throughout history. The Church supported but also set boundaries for science in the Middle Ages. Medieval scholars laid the foundations of modern science.
Hitler’s plan to gradually ‘Nazify’ the church began with a theological centre he set up in 1939… ‘The Bible must become Jew-free and the German people must see that the Jews are the mortal enemy who threaten their very existence’. Purportedly a “research” institute, it functioned as an antisemitic propaganda machine whose brief was to ‘cleanse church texts of all non-Aryan influences’.
The 10 commandments were completely rewritten and two more added for good measure.
‘But it is clear’, noted Goebbels, ‘…there is namely an insoluble opposition between the Christian and a Germanic-heroic world view’.(Ian Kershaw, ‘Hitler : Nemesis’ p 449)
Some version of Christianity might have survived had the Nazis won the war and carried out their purge — but it would be a faint mockery, consisting of anti-Jewish prejudice and unquestioning worship of the Fuhrer and the Nazi state. Hitler might have approved of the Ten Commandments, but then again he would do, he had them rewritten.