Beginning with the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, this second volume of The Story of Christianity continues narrative history to the present. Historian Justo Gonzalez brings to life the people, dramatic events, and shaping ideas of Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy during this period, keynoting crucial theological developments while providing fresh understanding of the social, political, and economic forces that influenced the formation of the church. In particular, the author notes recurring themes of unrest, rebellion, and reformation. Gonzalez presents an illuminating record of the lives, impelling ideas, and achievements of such prominent figures as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin––movers and shapers in the emerging Protestant church. His biographical insights, in conjunction with vivid historical accounts, reveal how individual lives mirror and clarify core theological concerns and developments. The interpretive overview of The Story of Christianity includes a thorough and timely analysis of the growth and maturation of Christianity, including events in Europe, the United States, and Latin America––the latter an area too often neglected in church histories, yet increasingly vital to an understanding of Christianity's historical development, present situation, and future, options. Gonzalez's richly textured study discusses the changes and directions of the church in the traditions of Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Christianity. The Story of Christianity covers such recent occurrences as the World Council of Churches, the Second Vatican Council, the movement toward Christian unity, and much more. It concludes with a thoughtful look at the major issues and debates involving Christians today.
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The story of Christianity is an immeasurably fascinating one. A faith that began in Roman occupied Palestine, as a small and fugitive faction within Judaism, grew, thrived and finally "conquered" the empire that had sought to exterminate it. Then, over many centuries and in many lands, it became the vital source from which new civilizations sprang. At times, its geographical range expanded mightily, at others contracted perilously. At times, the church proved heroically true to its deepest moral principles; at others, inexcusably traitorous to them. But, by the beginning of the 21st century, this faith that began in such fragility, and that became so powerful--even though its temporal power has now receded in its historic homelands--is the most widespread and diverse of all religions. Christianity is rapidly taking root in cultures very different from those in which it was born and in which it once flourished, and is assuming configurations that could not have been anticipated a century ago. In The Story of Christianity, the distinguished theologian David Bentley Hart provides a broad picture of Christian history. Presented in 50 short chapters--each focusing on a critical facet of Christian history or theology, and each amplified by timelines, quotations, and color images--his magisterial account does full justice to the range of Christian tradition, belief and practice--Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Coptic, Chaldean, Ethiopian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Malankaran, to name but a few of the many possibilities. From the persecutions of the early church to the papal-imperial conflicts of the Middle Ages, from the religious wars of 16th and 17th-century Europe to the challenges of science and secularism in the modern era, and from the ancient Christian communities of Africa and Asia to the "house churches" of contemporary China, The Story of Christianity triumphantly captures the heterogeneous richness of Christian history.
A treatment of the evolution of Christian thought from the birth of Christ, to the Apostles, to the early church, to the great flowering of Christianity across the world. The first volume introduces the central figures and debates culminating in the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon among which the theologies of the early church were hammered out. Volume 2 #9781426721915 Volume 3 #9781426721939
Beginning with the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, this fully revised and updated second volume of The Story of Christianity continues the marvelous history of the world's largest religion. Award-winning historian Justo Gonzalez bring to life the people, dramatic events, and theological debates that have shaped Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy. From the monk Martin Luther, who dared to stand up to a corrupt pope, to the surprising spread and growing vitality of today's church in Africa, Asia, and South America, The Story of Christianity offers a complete and up-to-date retelling of this amazing history. With new information on the important contributions of women to church history as well as the latest information on Christianity in developing countries, Gonzalez's richly textured study discusses the changes and directions of the church up to the twenty-first century. The Story of Christianity covers such recent occurrences as the fall of the Soviet Union and the return of the Russian Orthodox Church; feminist, Africa-American, and Third-World theologies; the scandals and controversies facing the reign of Pope Benedict XVI; interfaith dialogue; and the movement toward unity of all Christian churches. This revised and updated edition of The Story of Christianity concludes with a thoughtful look at the major issues and debates facing Christianity today.
First published in 1976, Paul Johnson’s exceptional study of Christianity has been loved and widely hailed for its intensive research, writing, and magnitude—“a tour de force, one of the most ambitious surveys of the history of Christianity ever attempted and perhaps the most radical” (New York Review of Books). In a highly readable companion to books on faith and history, the scholar and author Johnson has illuminated the Christian world and its fascinating history in a way that no other has. Johnson takes off in the year AD 49 with his namesake the apostle Paul. Thus beginning an ambitious quest to paint the centuries since the founding of a little-known ‘Jesus Sect’, A History of Christianity explores to a great degree the evolution of the Western world. With an unbiased and overall optimistic tone, Johnson traces the fantastic scope of the consequent sects of Christianity and the people who followed them. Information drawn from extensive and varied sources from around the world makes this history as credible as it is reliable. Invaluable understanding of the framework of modern Christianity—and its trials and tribulations throughout history—has never before been contained in such a captivating work.
Authoritative yet accessible historical overview of Christian Sunday worship In this book noted Christian historian Justo Gonzalez tells the story of how and why Christians have worshiped on Sunday from the earliest days of the church to the present. After discussing the views and practices relating to Sunday in the ancient church, Gonzalez turns to Constantine and how his policies affected Sunday observances. He then recounts the long process, beginning in the Middle Ages and culminating with Puritanism, whereby Christians came to think of and strictly observe Sunday as the Sabbath. Finally, Gonzalez looks at the current state of things, exploring especially how the explosive growth of the church in the Majority World has affected the observance of Sunday worldwide. Readers of this book will rediscover the joy and excitement of Sunday as the early church celebrated it and will find inspiration in an age of increasing indifference and hostility to Christianity."
“It would be difficult to imagine anyone reading this book without finding some new insight or inspiration, some new and unexpected testimony to the astonishing breadth of Christianity through the centuries.” — Philip Jenkins, author of The Lost History of Christianity “Interesting, insightful, illuminating, and remarkably relevant.” — Marcus Borg, author of The Heart of Christianity In the tradition of Howard Zinn comes a new history of Christianity that reveals its bottom-up movements over the past 2,000 years, which preserved Jesus’s original message of social justice, and how this history is impacting the church today.
“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.” —Forbes magazine The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins offers a revolutionary view of the history of the Christian church. Subtitled “The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died,” it explores the extinction of the earliest, most influential Christian churches of China, India, and the Middle East, which held the closest historical links to Jesus and were the dominant expression of Christianity throughout its first millennium. The remarkable true story of the demise of the institution that shaped both Asia and Christianity as we know them today, The Lost History of Christianity is a controversial and important work of religious scholarship that sounds a warning that must be heeded.
"Tracing the astonishing transformation that the early Christian church underwent - from sporadic niches of Christian communities surviving in the wake of a horrific crucifixion to sanctioned alliance with the state - Charles Freeman shows how freedom of thought was curtailed by the development of the concept of faith. The imposition of 'correct belief' and an institutional framework that enforced orthodoxy were both consolidating and stifling. Uncovering the church's relationships with Judaism, Gnosticism, Greek philosophy and Greco-Roman society, Freeman offers dramatic new accounts of Paul, the resurrection, and the church fathers and emperors."--BOOK JACKET.