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A history of the Christian church Unknown Binding – 1958

3.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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About the Author

Williston Walker was born in Portland, Maine, July 1, 1860, the son of a distinguished Congregational minister. He received his A. B. degree from Amherst College in 1883, was graduated from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1886 and received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Leipzig in 1888. He succeeded Woodrow Wilson as associate professor of history at Bryn Mawr College. He later taught church history at Hartford Theological Seminary. In 1901 Yale University called him to succeed George Park Fisher as Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History, a position which he held until his death in 1922. "The Reformation, Ten New England Leaders, Great Men of the Christian Church, " and "A History of the Christian Church" are among his distinguished works.
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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 585 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner's; Revised edition (1958)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00087NRC8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,926,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
A History of the Christian Church by Williston Walker was first published in 1918 and has gone through significant revision over the years. This is the fourth edition and includes the latest scholarship in the field of Christian history. The book is the major text for many seminary and university courses on the subject and with good reason, it includes quality research and scholarship. If you are a serious student of the subject you will enjoy the book and find it helpful in your own research. If you are a novice or casual inquirer, I recommend you look elsewhere. It does not offer a smooth flow through history like other texts of this nature. On the spectrum of Christian scholarship, the text is on the liberal end. The reading is more difficult than most introductory texts. Also, the book does not seem to give equal print to subjects of equal value to the history of the world wide Church. Yet, for the serious student of church history, it is an outstanding resource.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most comprehensive and thorough single volume works of Christian Church History that I have ever read. Originally published in 1918 by Yale University's 'Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History,' Williston Walker, this work has been 'updated' or revised through the years by three Union Theological Seminary Professors based on new discoveries, insights, data, uncovered archaeological evidence, and historical discoveries.

The subsequent revised versions included a final section on 'Modern Christianity.' So much of what happen in the 20th century was added to later editions. The book is nicely divided into seven (VII) periods. These seven periods are:

Period I - The Beginnings to the Gnostic Crisis. This period covers the first two centuries of Christianity from Christ's time to the apologists ending in the second century.

Period II - From the Gnostic Crisis to Constantine. This is one of the better sections or 'Periods' marking the growth of the Church, the formation of Catholicism, and the development of theology.

Period III - The Imperial State Church. This section covers controversies which arose (Arianism, Pelagianism, etc.). It also covers the division which occurred between the East and the West, Augustine of Hippo, the Growth of the Papacy, etc.

Period IV - The Middle Ages to the Close of the Investiture Controversy. This section covers the expansion of Christianity into Europe, The Greek Church, the Papacy and the Ottoman Empire, and much more.

Period V - The Latter Medieval Ages. This is another excellent section covering the rise of Scholasticism and its thinkers (Anselm, Aquinas, etc.). The rise of Orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I once heard a taped lecture in which the late church historian John Gerstner recommend Williston Walker's text as the best single volume work on the history of Christian Church that one could find. I have since concluded that Gerstner's assessment is correct. Any single volume work that attempts to cover such a broad and complex field is bound to suffer from gaps and over generalizations, but I must say that Walker, and his later revisers, have nonetheless done a fantastic job with the material covered. One of this book's strengths is the way it successfully ties together both theological issues and the broader historical context as they played a role in shaping the doctrine, life, and practice of the Church. There are a about nine maps scattered throughout, but apart from these there is nothing else in the way of images, just meaty text. An extensive bibliography can be found in the back of the book that is nicely divided up by periods, with each period further divided into various topical categories such as, "Sources and Documents," or "Thought and Theology." It should be noted, however, that this bibliography has not been updated since around 1984.
Despite the fact this is a one volume survey, I do not think this work is for the casual reader looking for a light introduction to church history. I don't mean to suggest that it is difficult reading, because I think it is actually written very well. It just seems to me that this text's appeal and value will be for the serious student who desires a more scholalry survey.
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Format: Hardcover
Insightful, especially for Protestant Christians. It fills a mysterious gap, and explains the development of Church dogma within a framework of an uninterrupted apostolic succession particularly between Pentecost (the birth of the Christian Church) and Martin Luther's reformation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very detailed book covering many years and topics regarding the history of the mainstream Christian church. It does tend to meander back to Catholicism most of the time, but they are the leading Christian group.
Overall, a very worthwhile book if you try not to get bogged down with all the dates and names put forth. From my limited experience, I think this is also a very thorough book which has gone through several revisions to keep it current.
Except for the fact I needed this for a class, I would not have purchased it at full price, or close to full price.
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