A. D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the by Charles Freeman

By Charles Freeman

A upsetting and well timed exam of 1 of crucial classes in Church background
In A.D. 381, Theodosius, emperor of the jap Roman empire, issued a decree during which all his topics have been required to join a trust within the Trinity of the daddy, Son and Holy Spirit. This edict outlined Christian orthodoxy and taken to an finish a full of life and wide-ranging debate concerning the nature of God; all different interpretations have been now declared heretical. It was once the 1st time in 1000 years of Greco-Roman civilization loose notion was once unambiguously suppressed. Why has Theodosius's revolution been airbrushed from the historic list? during this groundbreaking publication, acclaimed historian Charles Freeman argues that Theodosius's edict and the following suppression of paganism not just introduced an finish to the variety of non secular and philosophical ideals during the empire, yet created various theological difficulties for the Church, that have remained unsolved. The yr A.D. 381, as Freeman places it, was once "a turning element which era forgot."

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The rural hinterland of these growing megacities is severely degraded as the market for fuel wood and vegetables denudes the surrounding land. 79 Industrial activities in Third World cities tend to be much less carefully regulated than industrial activities in the First World, and their environmental and human costs therefore much greater. The First World has already exported many of its dirtiest technologies to Third World cities and shanty towns where the absence of environmental regulations, or of worker unions, allow effluent to leave the factory by air or water largely untreated, and workers to be employed on very low wages and over much longer periods of time than would be acceptable in developed countries.

32 But poor farmers are also the originators of extensive soil erosion, in Africa, in Asia and in Latin America. Again bad farming methods are partly to blame. 33 However, much of this erosion arises from the farming of marginal lands by peasants excluded from lands formerly used for subsistence farming but expropriated by governments and commercial farmers for export-oriented cash crops. 34 According to Paul Harrison, despite urgently needed land reform in some countries, the problems of land inequity and landlessness have got much worse since then, not least because of the high costs of the more intensive farming encouraged by governments and aid agencies in the wake of the 'green revolution5, which introduced fast-growing hybrid seeds and increased chemical inputs and mechanical harvesting into much of Third World agriculture.

Advocates of alternative 'green' development argue that development can only be just, equitable and ecologically beneficent when it is a process driven from below by the subjects of development. 87 People need to reclaim control over their polities, their economies, their lands and their lives. Only when models are found for recovering this kind of community control over economics and the environment, as I argue in detail in chapter seven below, can we expect a better balance to be struck between human greed and human poverty, and between human need and ecological limits in both First and Third Worlds.

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