David J. Hawkin


It is commonly asserted that Christianity is the historical religion par excellence. Its view of time is frequently contrasted with that of Eastern philosophies and religions. It is said to have a "realist" and a "positive" view of time, while religions such as Hinduism are said to have a "pessimistic" view of time in which temporal existence is seen to be mere illusion. These generalizations are often schematized into analogies about "linear" time and "cyclical" time and influential conclusions about Easter and Western culture are often drawn from such contrasts. One very prevalent argument which emerges from such discourse is that Christianity is ultimately responsible for the rise of science and technology in the Western world, as it helped to create a culture in which they could flourish. There are literally dozens of scholars who argue that Christianity, by emphasizing linear time and ultimate fulfilment, provided the necessary cultural preconditions for technological novelty and scientific progress. -

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