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THE FATE OF ANCIENT GREEK NATURAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE MIDDLE AGES: ISLAM AND WESTERN CHRISTIANITY

VIEWS: 28 PAGES: 24

Where Christianity spread slowly, by proselytizing, Islam came from outside the Roman world as an alien intruder, and although its converts were pagans and often former Christians, the mind set of the invaders was one which viewed Greek learning as alien, as is illustrated by the fact that Muslims distinguished two kinds of sciences: the Islamic sciences, based on the Koran and Islamic law and traditions, and the foreign sciences, or "pre-Islamic" sciences, which encompassed Greek science and natural philosophy. In brief, Islam is a kind of democratic religion that relies on consensus, whereas medieval Christendom was a centralized religion, headed by a single individual, the Pope, who, in principle, had supreme authority to determine and shape religious opinion and belief.

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