The Rise of Christianity
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|Author||: Rodney Stark|
|Editor||: Princeton University Press|
Rodney Stark, a sociologist by training, has written a book that should end much of the Christian-bashing occuring in academia. Stark demonstrates that Christianity became popular very quickly because it offered its adherents a better faith than competing religions and treated those believers better both physically and spiritually.
|Author||: Rodney Stark|
|Editor||: Harper Collins|
This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. "Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).
|Author||: W. H. C. Frend|
Traces the early history of the Christian church from Jewish Palestine prior to Christ's birth to the sixth century monastic movement, and explains how Christianity survived under a variety of cultures
|Author||: Kevin W. Kaatz|
An outstanding resource for high school readers and first-year college students, this book explores early Christianity from its beginnings in the first century through the fourth century when Christianity went from a persecuted faith to the only legalized faith in the Roman Empire. • Provides readers with a broad understanding of early Christianity from the time of Jesus to the fall of Rome and an appreciation for how early Christian communities spread throughout the Empire • Examines a number of key topics that relate to the varied communities that made up early Christianity • Provides readers with multiple primary documents in order to better understand early Christianity and offer opportunities to apply their critical thinking skills • Supports NCHS World History content standards for Era 3, Standard 3B
|Author||: Kevin W. Kaatz|
An introduction to the history of early Christianity, this reference provides roughly 60 primary source documents from the first five centuries of the Christian Era, each accompanied by explanatory material. • Offers a guide that helps readers to understand how to study primary documents critically • Provides an introduction of the history of the early Christian Church • Highlights a timeline of key events in the early history of Christianity • Features sections on the first five centuries of the Christian Era that encompass primary source documents, accompanied by headnotes and suggestions for further reading
|Author||: Jan N. Bremmer|
The rise of Christianity up to the victory of Constantine has often been studied and remains a puzzling phenomenon. In this valedictory lecture Jan N. Bremmer concentrates on the explanations adduced, focusing in particular on the works of three iconic figures from the last two hundred and fifty years: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire of Edward Gibbon, the most famous ancient historian of all time, at the end of the eighteenth century; Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums of Adolf von Harnack, the greatest historian of early Christianity of all time, around 1900, and The Rise of Christianity of Rodney Stark, the most adventurous sociologist of religion of our times, at the end of the twentieth century.Bremmer locates their concerns and explanations within their own times, but also takes them seriously as scholars, discussing their analyses and approaches. In this way he shows both the continuities and the innovations in the evolving view which scholarship presents of early Christianity. Bremmer's exceptional knowledge of the huge range of scholarship and his humane and balanced judgment make this lecture the ideal introduction to the many problems raised by Christianity's displacement of paganism
|Author||: Don Nardo|
Discusses the rise of Christianity including the Christian revolution, its Jewish roots, Jesus, Constantine's revolution, and the Christianization of Europe.
|Author||: Paula Fredriksen|
|Editor||: Yale University Press|
"Magisterial. . . . A learned, brilliant and enjoyable study."—Géza Vermès, Times Literary Supplement In this exciting book, Paula Fredriksen explains the variety of New Testament images of Jesus by exploring the ways that the new Christian communities interpreted his mission and message in light of the delay of the Kingdom he had preached. This edition includes an introduction reviews the most recent scholarship on Jesus and its implications for both history and theology. "Brilliant and lucidly written, full of original and fascinating insights."—Reginald H. Fuller, Journal of the American Academy of Religion "This is a first-rate work of a first-rate historian."—James D. Tabor, Journal of Religion "Fredriksen confronts her documents—principally the writings of the New Testament—as an archaeologist would an especially rich complex site. With great care she distinguishes the literary images from historical fact. As she does so, she explains the images of Jesus in terms of the strategies and purposes of the writers Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John."—Thomas D’Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor
|Author||: Paul Barnett|
|Editor||: InterVarsity Press|
Paul Barnett not only places the New Testament within the world of caesars and Herods, proconsuls and Pharisees, Sadducee and revolutionaries, but argues that the mainspring and driving force of early Christian history is the historical Jesus.
|Author||: Brad Christerson,Richard Flory|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
Why, when traditionally organized religious groups are seeing declining membership and participation, are networks of independent churches growing so explosively? Drawing on in-depth interviews with leaders and participants, The Rise of Network Christianity explains the social forces behind the fastest-growing form of Christianity in the U.S., which Brad Christerson and Richard Flory have labeled "Independent Network Charismatic." This form of Christianity emphasizes aggressive engagement with the supernatural-including healing, direct prophecies from God, engaging in "spiritual warfare" against demonic spirits--and social transformation. Christerson and Flory argue that macro-level social changes since the 1970s, including globalization and the digital revolution, have given competitive advantages to religious groups organized as networks rather than traditionally organized congregations and denominations. Network forms of governance allow for experimentation with controversial supernatural practices, innovative finances and marketing, and a highly participatory, unorthodox, and experiential faith, which is attractive in today's unstable religious marketplace. Christerson and Flory hypothesize that as more religious groups imitate this type of governance, religious belief and practice will become more experimental, more orientated around practice than theology, more shaped by the individual religious "consumer," and authority will become more highly concentrated in the hands of individuals rather than institutions. Network Christianity, they argue, is the future of Christianity in America.
|Author||: Bart D. Ehrman|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
The “marvelous” (Reza Aslan, bestselling author of Zealot), New York Times bestselling story of how Christianity became the dominant religion in the West. How did a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the empire became the official religion of Rome, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries? In The Triumph of Christianity, early Christian historian Bart D. Ehrman weaves the rigorously-researched answer to this question “into a vivid, nuanced, and enormously readable narrative” (Elaine Pagels, National Book Award-winning author of The Gnostic Gospels), showing how a handful of charismatic characters used a brilliant social strategy and an irresistible message to win over hearts and minds one at a time. This “humane, thoughtful and intelligent” book (The New York Times Book Review) upends the way we think about the single most important cultural transformation our world has ever seen—one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.
|Author||: Rodney Stark|
|Editor||: Harper Collins|
Celebrated religious and social historian Rodney Starktraces the extraordinary rise of Christianity through its most pivotal andcontroversial moments to offer fresh perspective on the history of the world’slargest religion. In The Triumph of Christianity, the author of God’sBattalions and The Rise of Christianity gathers and refines decadesof powerful research and discovery into one concentrated, concise, and highlyreadable volume that explores Christianity’s most crucial episodes. The uniqueformat of Triumph of Christianity allows Stark to avoid densechronologies and difficult back stories, bringing readers right to the heart ofChristian history’s most vital controversies and enduring lessons.
|Author||: Leif E. Vaage|
|Editor||: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press|
Religious Rivalries in the Early Roman Empire and the Rise of Christianity discusses the diverse cultural destinies of early Christianity, early Judaism, and other ancient religious groups as a question of social rivalry. The book is divided into three main sections. The first section debates the degree to which the category of rivalry adequately names the issue(s) that must be addressed when comparing and contrasting the social “success” of different religious groups in antiquity. The second is a critical assessment of the common modern category of “mission” to describe the inner dynamic of such a process; it discusses the early Christian apostle Paul, the early Jewish historian Josephus, and ancient Mithraism. The third section of the book is devoted to “the rise of Christianity,” primarily in response to the similarly titled work of the American sociologist of religion Rodney Stark. While it is not clear that any of these groups imagined its own success necessarily entailing the elimination of others, it does seem that early Christianity had certain habits, both of speech and practice, which made it particularly apt to succeed (in) the Roman Empire.
|Author||: Arland J. Hultgren|
|Editor||: Wipf and Stock Publishers|
More than fifty years ago, Walter Bauer's 'Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity' undercut the traditional views on the making of orthodox Christianity by arguing that in several geographic areas, heresy preceded orthodoxy. Subsequently, the ancient documents discovered at Nag Hammadi proved that early Christianity was tremendously diverse. These influences have given rise to the notion that the various gnostic interpretations are mere alternatives to more traditional interpretations of Jesus and his significance. Using a focused but broad definition of normative Christianity, Hultgren contends that such a tradition originated at the very beginnings of the Christian movements, developed, and came to dominate as the most adequate expression of Jesus' legacy. Normative Christianity - a stream as wide as the New Testament canon - forged a coherence between confession of faith and community ethos that could endure and was the basis for later orthodoxy.
|Author||: John Peter Kenney|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing USA|
Reading Augustine is a new line of books offering personal readings of St. Augustine of Hippo from leading philosophers and religious scholars. The aim of the series is to make clear Augustine's importance to contemporary thought and to present Augustine not only or primarily as a pre-eminent Christian thinker but as a philosophical, spiritual, literary and intellectual icon of the West. Why did the ancients come to adopt monotheism and Christianity? On God, The Soul, Evil and the Rise of Christianity introduces possible answers to that question by looking closely at the development of the thought of Augustine of Hippo, whose complex spiritual trajectory included Gnosticism, academic skepticism, pagan Platonism, and orthodox Christianity. What was so compelling about Christianity and how did Augustine become convinced that his soul could enter into communion with a transcendent God? The apparently sudden shift of ancient culture to monotheism and Christianity was momentous, defining the subsequent nature of Western religion and thought. John Peter Kenney shows us that Augustine offers an unusually clear vantage point to understand the essential ideas that drove that transition.
|Author||: Rodney Stark,Xiuhua Wang|
|Editor||: Templeton Foundation Press|
What is the state of Christianity in China, really? Some scholars say that China is invulnerable to religion. Some say that past efforts of missionaries have failed, writing off those who were converted as nothing more than “rice Christians,” or cynical souls who had frequented the missions for the benefits they provided. Some wonder if the Cultural Revolution extinguished any chances of Christianity in China. Rodney Stark and Xiuhua Wang offer a different perspective, arguing that Christianity is alive, well, and even on the rise. Stark approaches the topic from an extensive research background in both Christianity and Chinese history, and Wang provides an inside look at Christianity and its place in her home country of China. Both authors cover the history of religion in China, disproving older theories concerning not only the number of Christians, but the kinds of Christians that have emerged in the past 155 years. Stark and Wang claim that when just considering the visible Christians, those not part of underground churches, there are still thousands of Chinese being converted to Christianity each day, and forty new churches opening each week. A Star in the East draws on two major national surveys to sketch a close-up of religion in China. A reliable estimate is that by 2007 there were approximately 60 million Christians in China. If the current rate of growth were to hold until 2030, there would be more Christians in China—about 295 million—than in any other nation on earth. This has significant implications, not just for China but for the greater world order. It is probable that Chinese Christianity will splinter into denominations, likely leading to the same kinds of political, social, and economic ramifications seen in the West today. Whether you’re new to studying Christianity in China, or whether this has been your area of interest for years, A Star in the East provides a reliable, thought-provoking, and engaging account of the resilience of the Christian faith in China and the implications it has for the future.
|Author||: Cynthia White|
|Editor||: Fortress Press|
This brief survey text tells the story of early Christianity. Cynthia White explores the emergence of Christianity in Rome during the first four centuries of the Greco-Roman empire, from the first followers of Jesus Christ, to conflicts between Christians and Jewish kings under Roman occupation, to the torture of Christian followers, Diocletian's reforms, and Constantine's eventual conversion to monotheism, which cemented Christianity's status as the official religion of Rome. The text's chapters will integrate key pedagogy, including introductions, study questions, textboxes, photos, maps, suggested readings, and a glossary and timeline.
|Author||: Geoffrey Nathan|
The Family in Late Antiquity offers a challenging, well-argued and coherent study of the family in the late Roman world and the influence of the emerging Christian religion on its structure and value. Before the Roman Empire's political disintegration in the west, enormous political, religious and cultural changes took place in the period of late antiquity. This book is the first comprehensive study of the family in the later Roman Empire, from approximately 300 AD to 550 AD. Geoffrey Nathan analyses the classical Roman family as well as early Christian notions of this most basic unit of social organisation. Using these models as a contextual backdrop, he then explores marriage, children, domestic servitude, and other familial institutions in late antiquity. He brings together a diverse collection of sources, transcending traditional studies that have centred on the legal record.