The Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian FaithHardback
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- Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
- Format: Hardback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 196mm x 252mm x 28mm | 1,039g
- Publication date: 1 October 2012
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0857383426
- ISBN 13: 9780857383426
- Illustrations note: 150 colour images
- Sales rank: 211,048
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 colour 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.
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An Orthodox theologian, David Bentley Hart has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Baltimore. His specialties are philosophical theology and patristics. He completed his divinity school training at the University of Cambridge, and his graduate training at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? and The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth.
'A theologian of exceptional quality - but also a brilliant stylist' Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Table of contents
Introduction. The Abiding Glory: The People of Israel. Jesus Christ, Born of the Jews. The Death of the Messiah. The Easter Proclamation. The Church of the Apostles. The Growth of the Early Church. The Age of the Martyrs. The Gnostics. Alexandria in the Early Christian Centuries. Constantine the Great and the Birth of Christendom. Cities of the Desert: The Rise of Monasticism. Christianity in Armenia and India. Ancient Splendour: Christianity in Ethiopia. One God in Three Persons: The Earliest Church Councils. The Age of the Fathers. The Fall of Rome and the Rise of a New Western Christendom. Western Monasticism and the Preservation of Western Learning. Christendom. The Formation of Orthodox Christology. The Last Epoch of the United Christian Empire. The 'Church of the East': The Nestorian Missions. A New Power in the World: The Rise of Islam. Charlemagne. The Face of God: The Iconoclast Controversy. Franks and Byzantines: The Widening Gulf. The Conversion of the Slavs. The Great Schism. The Early Crusades. Byzantine Zenith and Nadir. The Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. The High Middle Class. Reason and Superstition: Medieval Contradictions. The Oriental Churches in the Later Middle Ages. Byzantine Twilight. The Last Caesar. Renaissance Christian Thought. Spain and its Inquisition. The Reformation Begins. The Growth of the Reformation. The Anabaptists and the Catholic Reformation. Schism and War: Early Modern Europe. Colonies and Missions. The Church and the Scientists. Deism, Enlightenment and Revolution. Eastern Orthodoxy in the Early Modern Period. The 19th Century: A Time of Radical Doubt. The 19th Century: A Time of Fervent Faith. The 20th Century in America. The Most Violent Century in History. The 20th to the 21st Century: The Rise of a New Christendom. Glossary. Further References. Index. Picture Acknowledgements.