The Story of Christianity, Volume 1, is an informative, interesting, and consistently readable narrative history. It brings alive the people, dramatic events, and ideas that shaped the first fifteen centuries of Europe, such as the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of the New World. Historian Justo Gonzalez shows how various social, political, and economic movements affected Christianity's internal growth. Gonzalez skillfully weaves in relevant details from the lives of prominent figures from the apostles to John Wycliffe, tracing out core theological issues and developments as reflected in the lives and struggles of leading thinkers within the various traditions of the church. "The history of the church, while showing all the characteristics fo human history, is much more than the history of an institution or movement," Gonzalez stresses. "It is a history of the deeds of the spirit in and through the men and women who have gone before in the faith." The Story of Christianity demonstrates at each point what new challenges and opportunities faced the church, and how Christians struggled with the various options open to them, thereby shaping the future direction of the church. The Story of Christianity will serve as a fascinating introduction to the panoramic history of Christianity for students and teachers of church history, for pastors, and for general readers.
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.
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.
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. Beginning with Augustine, Volume 2 covers the flowering of Christian thought that characterized both the Latin West and the Byzantine East during the Middle Ages.
In this fully revised and updated edition, the lauded church historian Justo González tells the story of Christianity from its fragile infancy to its pervasive dominance at the dawn of the Protestant Reformation. The Story of Christianity, volume 1, relates the dramatic events, the colorful characters, and the revolutionary ideas that shaped the first fifteen centuries of the church's life and thought. From Jesus's faithful apostles to the early reformist John Wycliffe, González skillfully weaves details from the lives of prominent figures tracing core theological issues and developments within the various traditions of the church. The Story of Christianity demonstrates at each point what new challenges and opportunities faced the church and how Christians struggled with the various options open to them, thereby shaping the future direction of the church. This new edition of The Story of Christianity incorporates recent archaeological discoveries to give us a better view of the early Christian communities. Among these are advances in the recovery of Gnostic texts that have revealed a richer diversity of "Christianities" in the first century. González also includes important research done in the past twenty-five years revealing the significant role of women throughout the history of the church. With lively storytelling incorporating the latest research, The Story of Christianity provides a fascinating introduction to the panoramic history of Christianity.
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 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.
The New York Times bestseller and definitive history of Christianity for our time—from the award-winning author of The Reformation and Silence A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity goes back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and encompasses the globe. It captures the major turning points in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox history and fills in often neglected accounts of conversion and confrontation in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. MacCulloch introduces us to monks and crusaders, heretics and reformers, popes and abolitionists, and discover Christianity's essential role in shaping human history and the intimate lives of men and women. And he uncovers the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the surprising beliefs of the founding fathers, the rise of the Evangelical movement and of Pentecostalism, and the recent crises within the Catholic Church. Bursting with original insights and a great pleasure to read, this monumental religious history will not soon be surpassed.
“This crisp retelling of Christian history from the days of the apostles to the eve of the Reformation is filled with insight.” — Mark A. Noll, Wheaton College The Story of Christianity, Volume 1 is a narrative history of Christianity, from the Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, from Justo L. Gonzalez, author of the highly praised three-volume History of Christian Thought.
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.