Ep 91: How Woodrow Wilson Invaded Medieval Europe

Ep 91: How Woodrow Wilson Invaded Medieval Europe  

In this special Thanksgiving bonus episode, I read an excerpt from Norman Cantor’s Inventing the Middle Ages, which is a history of 20th century medieval scholarship. In this book he describes the ways in which the social and cultural contexts of 20th century medievalists were projected back into the Middle Ages, shaping our historical understanding of that period. The two most influential American medievalists were Charles Haskins and Joseph Strayer, both of whom were dedicated Wilsonians and whose scholarship on medieval government suspiciously conformed to Woodrow Wilson’s theory of government. Haskins was one of three academics who accompanied Wilson during his post-WWI tour of Europe and was in part responsible for creating the dysfunction that led to WWII and the Cold War. Strayer found himself working for the CIA during the 1950s. This is a really challenging and interesting read that makes us think about how we interpret history and contemporary intellectual trends influence the way we understand reality.

Additional Resources

  • Inventing the Middle Ages, Norman Cantor
  • The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer
  • Powers and Thrones, Dan Jones
  • Henry Cadbury and Modernizing Jesus Episode: https://libertarianchristians.com/episode/henry-cadbury-anti-war-biblical-scholar-warned-against-modernizing-jesus/

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