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of the Conference on
Ageing, and then at 6 o'clock we went to a dinner sponsored by the Episcopalian
Church on work and religion. This Episcopalian diocese had conceived the idea of
getting Toynbee to make a speech on work on religion. We all adjourned to a large
church where Marie, Averell and I sat on hard wooden chairs for an hour and a half
with about a thousand people while he gave a really brilliant lecture on the origins
of work and how Christianity and the early monks made work respectable, and
consequently gave the impetus to respect for work that is common in Western Christian
nations, a point I had never understood before and had always taken for granted, but
he made it clear that in the rest of the world, in Roman and Greek times, work was
done by slaves and respected people weren't supposed to work. The Christian point of
view became as a result of the early monks, in the 5th Century--I think it was St.
Bernadictine, but I can be wrong about the Saint--a part of the
Christian creed and doctrine, that work was desirable and noble and good.
I thought it was a wonderful exposition of what had made the Western Christian world
so successful in an economic and material way.
It's an interesting thesis to single out and explore.
Afterward, Toynbee and a few other people came back to
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