A pretty big book (464 pages), I have to confess I was a bit intimidated a bit when it arrived. But I dug in anyway.
From the publisher:
Discover how the Bible became the West’s source of human rights, justice, heroism, optimism, compassion, capitalism, family, and morality.I have read just a bit about this general topic before, and I was looking forward to learning more. What I hadn't really thought about was what a difference it was going to make to read this particular author. His Indian perspective on the importance of the Bible in Western Civilization was fascinating. I kept thinking about Democracy in America, and how as an outsider Alexis de Tocqueville was able to offer a unique insight into the politics of early 19th century America.
In the 1960s many from the West went to the East in search of spiritual wisdom. The Book That Made Your World reverses the journey. Vishal Mangalwadi, an Indian philosopher, takes readers on a historical journey through the last millennium, exploring why and how the Bible reformed Europe and made the West a uniquely thinking civilization: technical and tolerant, scientific and free, just and prosperous. Readers will learn:
- Why an American president puts his hand on the Bible to take the oath of a secular office
- What forced British monarchs from Henry VIII to James I to submit to the Bible’s authority
- Why Bible translators Wycliffe, Luther, and Tyndale became history’s greatest revolutionaries
- How the Bible globalized western education
Mangalwadi has a similar impact. Being from Asia, he is able to document the impact of the Bible on Western Civilization as an outsider. Being from India, he is also able to look at Western Civilization's impact on his nation. And he can look at the various Eastern religions first-hand as well, in a way that an American author really couldn't.
This book is going on my list of required high school reading for my children. I'd put it on a required list of reading for everyone else I knew if I could. I can't though, so instead I'll just highly recommend it to everyone who reads this review.