“2012 Book of the Year” (World Magazine)
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.See all Editorial Reviews
This is a must read to understand the spread and sustainability of Christianity as a transformational force in the world. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Considerable
Even though I have not yet finished the book, I heartly recommend it. It is a big book, and I have to take my time reading it. Read morePublished 11 days ago by bergljot
Some might call him a historical revisionist but I actually think he has the correct view of history based on all the evidence he cites along with his reasoning. Read morePublished 19 days ago by carealot
If you love knowing how things happen, this is a book for you. Easy to understand and comprehend. Looking forward to more.Published 1 month ago by Diana
I have read well over 500 books in my life but never have I read one like this. Rodney Stark obliterates many misrepresented views of vital historical events since the Rise of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by dwentworth23
A noteworthy effort about the Rise of Christianity, but there are some flaws. First, I should note the good parts. Read morePublished 1 month ago by stevie