More than 40 percent of the people on earth today are Christians, and their number is growing more rapidly than that of any other major faith. In The Triumph of Christianity, acclaimed religious and social historian Rodney Stark explains how an obscure Jewish sect became the largest, most thriving religion in the world.
In Stark's groundbreaking book The Rise of Christianity, he examined the early success of Christianity and how it conquered Rome. Now, in this much-anticipated volume, Stark tells a far more extensive story, beginning with the religious and social situation prior to the birth of Jesus and continuing to the present.
As it moves through six historical eras, The Triumph of Christianity gets right to Christianity's most pivotal and controversial moments—often turning them on their heads:
Christmas Eve surveys the religious situation within which Christianity began.
Christianizing the Empire looks at Jesus's life and the formative days of the movement he inspired, explaining why Christianity was a reprieve from the miseries of daily life for so many.
Consolidating Christian Europe argues that Constantine's conversion did the church a great deal of harm, examines the gradual demise of paganism, and clarifies the motives behind the Crusades.
Medieval Currents sheds new light on the misleadingly named "Dark Ages" and the essential role that faith played in the scientific revolution.
Christianity Divided examines two Roman Catholic "Churches"—the Church of Piety and the Church of Power—as they respond to the challenges of heresy, Luther's Reformation, and the Spanish Inquisition.
New Worlds and Christian Growth considers the development of religious pluralism in the United States and the continuing vigor of Christianity worldwide, disproving the popular notion that religion must disappear to make room for modernity.
With his signature knack for making the boldest and most original scholarship accessible to all readers, Stark presents the real story behind the tragedies and triumphs that have shaped the trajectory of the Christian faith and, indeed, much of global history. For scholars and armchair historians alike, this is a brisk and thought-provoking journey through events we think we know—and need to reconsider.
Rodney Stark is neither politically correct nor culturally programed to accept the tire old saws about Christianity perpetuated by years of lazy historians recycling... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Richard J. Schuyler
This was an enjoyable book. It's a sociological survey of some of the most important points of Christian history, correcting a lot of common misconceptions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Teddy Ray
The history and background of Christianity that understandable. It also shows how Christianity has impacted the worldPublished 2 months ago by Rebecca Eaton
I really like Rodney Stark. This is a very good book. If you want to learn more about the history of Christianity, This is the book. It is very well written. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Edward Maestas
Rodney Stark continues to instruct and amaze me as he uses the research he does on religious movements. Read morePublished 3 months ago by meg crossman
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
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 morePublished 4 months ago by Chad M. Sorenson
A fantastic read. Well written. Keen insights. A great historical and sociological perspective that does not disappoint.Published 6 months ago by Ken Ruettgers