The "Dark" Ages

Not open for further replies.


This doesn't directly address the history of the church, but it does have radical implications for how we understand church history.

I'm wondering if any of you saw the recent excerpt from Rodney Stark's new book in World Magazine recently? WORLD | Slaughtering conventional history?s sacred cows | Rodney Stark | April 12, 2014

He's basically arguing that the so-called "Dark Ages" were nothing more than a historical myth perpetuated by the anti-Christian thinkers of the so-called "Enlightenment" period. I'm sympathetic to his basic thesis, but along the way he makes a lot of pretty radical claims about the situation of Europe during the Middle Ages. Is he overstating his case? Are there parts of the excerpt that you would challenge? I would love to hear the thoughts of those more educated than I about this subject. :)


Puritan Board Graduate
Are there any current historians who describe this period as the Dark Ages? I thought it just existed in the popular imagination, like the idea that Columbus had to convince people that the world was round.

I think he understates the importance of writing for a people, and some of the things he puts on the good side of the ledger had me scratching my head.


Staff member
My very secular professor for Medieval history really disliked the term "dark ages" too, for similar reasons. He claimed subsequent European technology and history could not have developed without the innovations of this era. His favorite example was the adoption of the stirrup for mounted warfare.
Not open for further replies.