How dependent is gentile society on the Jews?

It is a truism that Jewish talent and genius adds a great deal to society. At the same time, many Jews (and masochistic gentiles) tend to overstate the dependence of gentile society on Jews, as though it would be nowhere without the Jews.

Consider this. The absolute peak of Western civilization was reached in the high Middle Ages, the 12th and 13th centuries. The architecture, the sculpture, expresses a superhuman, spiritual exaltation, a higher state of being. There’s nothing else like it in the world. And the Jews had nothing to do with it.

So let us not overemphasize Jewish genius, though it certainly exists. Let us also speak of gentile genius.

— end of initial entry —

March 8

Brandon F. writes:

I agree with this post with one exception. There may not have been Jews in positions of influence, but saying Jews had nothing to do with that civilization is not correct. Judaism, via Christianity, had a big influence on the philosophy, art, and, obviously, on, the religious tradition that dominated that period.

LA replies:

Well, of course, Christianity grew out of Judaism. It began as Jewish sect which then split off from Judaism and is based on it in all kinds of ways, particularly liturgical.

So Christianity itself could be spoken of as “Judeo-Christianity,” but only in a generic sense. That name doesn’t hold once we get into particulars. The development of Dark Age Christianity (500 A.D. to 1000 A.D.) and especially High Middle Ages Christianity (1000-1300) was achieved by Christians. Jews had nothing to with it. And in particular they had nothing to do with the spiritual architecture and sculpture that I called as the “absolute peak of Western civilization.”

You disagreed with something I didn’t say. I didn’t say that Jews had nothing to do with Christian civilization. I said they had nothing to do with a particular development within Christian civilization.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 07, 2013 06:03 PM | Send

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