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Western civilization, founded on Greek, Roman and Christian thought, cannot truly be understood until one considers each of these underpinnings. Christianity owes much to Judaism, so one must start there. On the other hand, Roman thought and life built itself on Greece.
The title spells out that Athens, as a metaphor for Greek philosophy, and Jerusalem, as a symbol of early Christianity, represent two major forces one must understand before truly grasping Christianity and Western culture.
When most people think of Athens and Greece, they think of philosophy and reason. After all, it is the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers who became the first scientists.
On the other hand, when people think of Jerusalem, they think of faith and belief in God. As such, Athens and Jerusalem might seem like opposites and, really, like enemies. Continue reading