Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
History of Christianity Paperback – August 1, 1979
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
W. H. C. Frend The New York Review of Books His is a tour de force, one of the most ambitious surveys of the history of Christianity ever attempted and perhaps the most radical. In eight sections, with a great range of reading and a knowledge that is never made tedious, he tells the story of the rise, greatness, and decline of Christianity.
Richard Marius The Christian Century Paul Johnson, an English Roman Catholic, has given us the best one-volume history of Christianity ever done.
Michael McCauley Commonweal That the history of Christianity can be lucidly surveyed in a single, comprehensive volume of 556 pages is no small accomplishment. To Paul Johnson's credit A History of Christianity neither skimps on significant details or wallows in scholarly fussiness. Johnson provides a panoramic overview of events which have shaped our twentieth century Western lifestyle far more than we realize....For economy of style combined with a sympathetic understanding of the nearly 2000 years of Christianity's conflicts as well as its glorious achievements, Johnson's History is exceptional.
J. Enoch Powell The Daily Telegraph (London) It is astonishingly well done.
Robert Kirsch Los Angeles Times Johnson has written a readable and provocative history based more on politics, economics and social and cultural facts than on theology....[He] bases his account on modern scholarship, achieves objectivity without aridity, arrives at the present age after examining the recurring cycles of religious response to situations.
Mayo Mohs Time An ambitious, magisterial and ultimately positive book.
Martin E. Marty The New York Times Book Review A reliable if hard-edged story of the public church.
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
The Catholic Church is more the topic of the book than is Christianity in general. Perhaps this results from the age of Catholicism versus the age Protestant denominations. After all, for three quarters of the period covered, the Catholic Church was virtually alone on the scene, at least as far as Western Europe (Johnson's focus) was concerned. But even in the post-Reformation era, Protestantism receives attention that pales in comparison to that given Catholicism. And the Eastern Orthodox churches are mentioned virtually not at all after the 1054 split, except to compare the Church's adherence to Latin while the Orthodox churches accepted the native tongues of its members. All of this is fine, of course, but the title is somewhat misleading in this regard. A better title might have been "A History of Catholicism" or "A History of Christianity in the West."
That said, this is still an excellent book, and the material it includes is examined excellently. Theological doctrine and debates necessarily enter the story (such as the Trinity and the Pope's infallibility), but this is not a history of doctrine and its development.Read more ›
I've heard that Johnson is Roman Catholic, but he doesn't come across that way in his book. He's very unbiased toward any one tradition. But that's not to say he's an impartial observer. He alternately lambastes and praises almost every major figure in church history from Augustine to John Calvin to the spineless Pius XII.
The narrative is constructed as a tension between the forces of humanism in the church, and the more conservative elements. Both sides have had their problems, often springing from dogmatism and overzealous application of their own philosophies to the lives of others, through the instrument of the state. Of all the personalities treated in the book, his favorite seems to be Erasmus, who he sees as almost the ideal Christian- intellectual, but with conviction, open-minded, but with a foundation for his thought.
There's not much pre-A.D. history provided as background in the book, but this doesn't detract from the quality of the history that is given. I assume that A History of Christianity takes up where Johnson's History of the Jews left off, so I plan on reading it before long. My only real regrets about this book are that it doesn't deal more with the Eastern Orthodox church and that it ends in 1970.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful overview of the broad sweep of Christianity over 2000 years!Published 23 days ago by Ted E.
I really enjoyed History of Judaism so bought this book as a follow on. But I found this book to be extremely dry and painfully focused on theology as opposed to world... Read morePublished 2 months ago by butterfly
Factual, well written, enrich your knowledge of a fundamental part of world history, must read!!Published 3 months ago by antonio linares
I’d like to read everything Paul Johnson has written, but I don’t think I could because he is 86 years old and still writing faster than I can read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Father Paul Yerger
Paul Johnson's A History of Christianity surely is that: "A" history not "The" History of Christianity. Read morePublished 6 months ago by James G. Bruen Jr.