Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yet more BCE/CE lunacy.

Did you ever buy a book that looks like a really great read, but that contains a mind-bogglingly stupid blunder in the first few pages that keeps you from reading further? I found a book like that in "God's Crucible" by David Levering Lewis.

In the notes on usage page xix, Lewis wrote:
Time unfolds in this book within two eras: Before the Common Era (BCE) and in the Common Era (CE) in which we still live. The presumptuous "Before Christ" (BC) and "anno Domini" (AD) cede to an ecumenism cognizant of historical interdependence and parity.
So the author endorses the terminology "Before the Common Era" and BCE as good, ecumenical, and enlightened, and he explains that the terminology "Before Christ" and BC is just plain rude. I don't like it, but I can accept it. Then on pages 4 and 5, Lewis wrote:
The Roman and the Iranian upper classes were too busy fighting among themselves and consolidating territorial conquests to take much notice of each other until a century and a half before the birth of the Christian messiah.
I'm going to go into work tomorrow with the red slapmark of my own palm hitting my forehead. Thank you, David Levering Lewis.

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