Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Theras and His Town

Theras and His Town, Caroline Dale Snedeker
(1924; reprint, American Home-School Publishing, 2002), pb. 237 pp.

We read this book last school year as we studied Greece and Rome. The idea of the book is to tell a story which provides a contrast between life in Athens and life in Sparta. The story works well and does provide a good look at life in these two key Greek city states.

However, I was really surprised by the religious statements in this book. Having found this book in the Veritas Press catalogue, I expected either a Christian world view or something less explicit. However, various times statements were made, as obvious asides to the modern reader, condoning the polytheism and idolatry of the Greeks. For example when discussing Athena, at one point the author cautions us (particularly the children) not to judge the character too harshly for worshipping a statue. She explains that all the people in Athens prayed to Athena and then writes:

And often they prayed to Athena so truly and thought her so good and kind that their prayers reached to the true God over all. (45)
I was totally caught off guard and shocked- to so easily disregard the exclusivity of Christ! It did provide an opportunity to clarify with my boys. This kind of sentiment appeared with some frequency. One might choose to use this book for some history, but would need to know in advance so as to edit or be ready to correct. In all, there are a number of good books in this area so that this one can be bypassed.


At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, your thoughts were very helpful


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