CA35 The Gruesome History of Christian Torture

Christianity has a long and romantic relationship with torture. The primary symbol of the religion is a torture device, God’s chosen method of providing salvation was a grisly act of public torture, and hell has been an object of fascination for Christian artists, writers, and church fathers since the beginning. As the religious scholar Karen King puts it, there are “torturous narratives at Christianity’s foundations.” Obsession with torture, though not unique to Christianity by any means, has always been in Christianity’s DNA. We also discuss the witch craze, the theologically-induced mass hysteria that led to gruesome acts against “witches” for centuries.

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Listen to Magic Tricks by Whalers

Christopher Hitchens [YouTube]

Skeptical Examination of Torture [YouTube]

The Moral Arc – Michael Shermer [Amazon]

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Charles MacKay [Amazon]

The End of Faith – Sam Harris [Amazon]

Triumph of Christianity – Bart Ehrman [Amazon]