Bearing False Witness
Publication Date: October 9, 2017
Bearing False Witness is an eye-opening exploration of historical falsehoods, challenging long-held beliefs about the Catholic Church. Written by renowned historian Rodney Stark, this groundbreaking book delves deep into the facts to reveal a very different version of history than what was previously taught in textbooks and respected intellectual circles. With its compelling narrative style, Stark sheds light on the often maligned but crucial role that faith has played in world events over the centuries - one that is indispensible for a complete understanding of Western civilization.
Stark looks at important topics ranging from religious persecution and the Inquisition to anti-Semitism during World War II and how so-called "Dark Ages" were actually quite enlightening for society. His extensive research provides readers with a revelatory look at events that shaped our past and displayed the Church’s true commitment to justice, mercy, and charity. Whether you are interested in uncovering forgotten moments from centuries ago or wish to gain newfound insight into present-day issues involving religion and belief systems, this book will leave you with a newfound appreciation for humanity’s long history of faith. Bearing False Witness uncovers many layers of truth that have been covered up by old assumptions - allowing readers to get closer to discovering their own absolute truth.
"Stark writes as an historian, not an apologist; but the truth is not only good history, but also the best defense of the Church." --Gerald J. Russello, National Catholic Register
"In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth." -- Supremacy and Survival
"In Bearing False Witness, Stark crushes anti-Catholic myths one by one with clarity and well-researched scholarship." --Klaus Vella Bardon, Times of Malta
"Stark has done the Catholic Church a great service in presenting a thorough dismantling of many anti-Catholic narratives, as well as offering analysis as to how and why this happened... Even those outside the parameters of the Catholic Church should welcome this study, as it enables us to move beyond the usual sniping characteristic of so many church history debates, and pursue a more thorough, historically faithful ecumenical dialogue." --Casey Chalk, Call to Communion
"Bearing False Witness by Rodney Stark is a generous book--though more importantly, a judicious one. Stark is a Protestant who grew up believing many anti-Catholic myths, including that old canard from Washington Irving that Columbus's voyage had been discouraged by the Church because of her belief that the world was flat. Stark dismantles this quaint piece of ahistorical folklore in his Introduction, then sets his sights on the whole panoply of 'Black Legends' maliciously promulgated throughout history to justify bigotry towards Catholics, first by rival denominations (English and Dutch Protestants invented the lurid, baseless cartoon we picture when we hear 'Spanish Inquisition') and then by secular forces (I learned here that it was Soviet propagandists who started the lie that Pius XII was 'Hitler's Pope')... . the book is an across-the-aisle attempt to right some wrongs of Christian historiography" --Alexi Sargeant, First Things
From Stark's Wikipedia page: "While not a Roman Catholic himself, Stark believes that anti-Catholicism is still a dominant force in the American media and the academia." Therefore, this work is particularly helpful for the American Catholic who is relearning history without a Puritan/Calvinist American lens who may question whether he is letting himself fall down the opposite rabbit-hole of the cultural Marxists and rewriting history for sake of the flattery of his Catholic identity since the book is written by a non-Catholic who is merely seeking to portray events as they truly were. A particular aid from the book that one can easily use in casual conversation are the data from the historical records of the Spanish Inquisition.