In this recommended reading list on culture, Tim Keller says that “If you only read one, read this one.” He’s referring to A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living, Luc Ferry’s international bestseller.
Here’s more from Keller on why he thinks this is an important survey for Christians to read:
This book right now is a terrific, fast way to get a handle on western culture because:
It’s a great survey of western thought—very few are available, especially from a non-Christian who is sympathetic to Christianity.
All other books you buy will be less comprehensive.
Though his expression of Christian doctrine is often garbled, Ferry has deep appreciation for Christianity, and when he describes how Christianity swept Greco-Roman paganism away as a cultural force, it is a remarkable, eye-opening account. It shows a) how complex and difficult it is to change culture, but b) how indeed culture does get changed.
The shifts away from Christianity are also extremely interesting.