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The 20th century may have been American but the millennium has belonged to the Europeans. And what should we nominate as the main enterprise of the past 1,000 years? There is no doubt about that: the Catholic church.

In 999 nobody would have recognised the term “Europe.” There was only Christendom. But at the core of Deepak Lal’s book is the story of how the church set in motion a train of events that led to the end of Christendom, then on to the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution. Looking back, we can say that in spite of the Catholic…

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