Entries by Jim Penman

How geography affects character

I’ve just added a new section to the popular version of the book, in chapter 14, which you can download free from the shop. It’s quite neat, in that it shows why Greece was so extraordinarily creative and Africa so backwards. The basic idea is that the more trade opportunities people have, the more likely […]

Faith buttresses civilisation

LONG before the rise of Christianity, it was a commonplace idea that wealth and moral decay caused societies to decline. Ancient Roman historians such as Sallust spoke out against the laxity of their time. Later, the 14th-century Muslim philosopher Ibn Khaldun observed how vigorous societies became soft under the influence of civilisation. And, of course, Christian moralists of all ages have warned of this danger.