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The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World's Largest Religion [Kindle Edition]

Rodney Stark
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.78
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews


“2012 Book of the Year” (World Magazine)

From the Back Cover

In The Triumph of Christianity, acclaimed religious and social historianRodney Stark explains how an obscure Jewish sect became the largestreligion in the world and presents the real story behind the tragediesand triumphs that have shaped the trajectory of the Christian faith—and indeed, much of global history.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4724 KB
  • Print Length: 515 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00B559YEM
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005C6IJZA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,553 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
118 of 121 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Rodney Stark because his works are both scholarly and readable, as well as being well-argued, well-researched, and positively revelatory. His new book, "The Triumph of Christianity," is similar to his earlier work, "The Rise of Christianity." However he not only extends the time of his discussion to cover all of church history but has also incorporated what he calls "new perspectives" on some old questions.

I highly recommend "The Triumph of Christianity" for the following reasons. First, Stark presents a lot of intriguing and important information that is hard to find anywhere else. Second, his work is very well-researched and based on this solid research he provides provocative insights into Christianity that are bound to deepen one's understanding. Third, Stark packs an amazing amount of information into one book. Fourth, while being academically sound his writing is also very readable.

Stark's startling insights often overturn a lot of mischievous nonsense about Christianity and common misperceptions. He does it with amazing clarity and authority, and what he says matches up with all I've observed about human behavior and what I've read about sociology. The book would be well worth its price for only a fraction of the revelations Stark communicates. I just finished the Kindle version but am thinking about also ordering a hard copy so I can properly mark it up as I like to do with an important work.

In Part 1, Stark presents a succinct and useful summary of other religions at time of Christ, as well as why Oriental religions (besides Judaism) appealed to the Roman world and paved the way for Christianity.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start Here November 28, 2011
In the past 15 years, leading sociologist, Stark, has challenged a lot of what is commonly believed about Christianity. This is nothing new since Stark became famous for his challenge of some of the core beliefs held by the academy about religion in general. His basic insight: religion works like a market. When you have religious freedom it leads to competition and innovation, which leads to more religion. When you have a monopoly few believe in it, even though everyone is "forced" to. This insight has been the guiding theme of a series of stunning works Stark has released into the genre of the history of Christianity.

Up until this point, however, if you wanted to benefit from Stark's insight you had to read about a half dozen different books: The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force ...., The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success, One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery,God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades. Each of these books took on one or more major misconception held not just by the academy, but also by Christians about Christian history.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stark Triumphs! December 8, 2011
Rodney Stark is well-known for dispelling persistent rumors. Many of his books have been well-received and recognized as an example of refreshing scholarship. More importantly, his works have pulled timeless accepted truths into the light, examined them and found them wanting. Those works have covered nearly every epoch of church history. Now he has published a history of the church from its inception to the modern age. Instead of this being an exhaustive treatment, he examines major periods of the church's history, dispels rumors and demonstrates their significance for future periods.

He divides his study into six parts. Each part focuses on the broader periods of history: Early Church, expansion throughout the world, Constantine, the "Dark Ages", The Reformation and the modern age. In every age, the church has triumphed in a world which seeks to destroy it. Despite being razed in A.D. 70, Christianity would ultimately conquer Rome. Caesar was not victorious. Jerusalem conquered Rome.

Stark will argue through each age of Christianity that it has triumphed - though not always in the overt way of kings and kingdoms. It certainly has not been the oppressive majority many of the new Atheists make it out to be; or the religion of the poor or the suppressors of science. Christianity has proven to be the opposite, in fact. That is part of Stark's purpose for writing this book. It combines the scholarship of his many other excellent books into one volume that examines important parts of the church's history in order to dispel rumors and demonstrate the prejudice of the academy towards religion.

As always Stark is well-researched and highly readable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, if you think the Crusades were bad.
This book documents a few very interesting historical points like:

(1) the rise of Islam through military might in the Near East, Northern Africa, Asia, and even parts... Read more
Published 5 hours ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Educational
Enjoyed this book, which held my interest through every chapter until the end. The concluding paragraph is worth purchasing the book alone, as it succinctly captures numerous... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Chad M. Sorenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting twist on history. Worth the read.
Published 28 days ago by Andy Wileman
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read!
A fantastic read. Well written. Keen insights. A great historical and sociological perspective that does not disappoint.
Published 1 month ago by Ken Ruettgers
5.0 out of 5 stars Destroys the mythology of the evil Inquisition
Parts of this are fantastic. One chapter totally tears apart and destroys the mythology of the evil Inquisition. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bill Safford
5.0 out of 5 stars Academic but readable. solid insight
I recommend this book for anybody seeking a comprehensive look at Christianity and it's history. There was a remarkable amount of research put in this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mkinze
5.0 out of 5 stars greatest dissertation of the Christian movement
A must read for anyone either Christian or not. Stark brilliantly uses research and history to logically look at the largest religion in the world.
Published 2 months ago by Justin Crispin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best explanation of "why Jesus" ever!!
Published 4 months ago by Edward J Goldberg
5.0 out of 5 stars the triumph of Christianity was a quick read. It ...
the triumph of Christianity was a quick read. It was full of information that was news to me.
Published 4 months ago by dave spotts
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book of the true history of Christianity
Excellent Book, hard to put down.
Published 5 months ago by C. Rice
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