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The Founding of Christendom: A History of Christendom (vol. 1) Paperback – October 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren Carroll (1932–2011) was founder of Christendom College, serving as president from 1977–85, and as chairman of the Department of History from 1985–2002. Carroll earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Columbia Uni­versity. The author of numerous books, he has won a well-deserved reputation as one of the foremost Catholic historians of our time.

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Product Details

  • Series: History of Christendom (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 605 pages
  • Publisher: Christendom Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0931888212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0931888212
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all, it is worth note that Carroll admits his bias right from the beginning, and thus honestly admits to what would have been obvious from the first few pages of his work. Among the "objective historians", the lack of bias is paramount, and is established by attacking, diminishing, and demeaning whatever subject they approach. Carroll, by way of contrast, admits a pre-existing bias, and is thus free to explore, explain, and defend his subject matter.
The Founding of Christendom accomplishes three great ends. First, it provides a succinct and riveting chronological study of the "History of the World." I admit I was quite shocked to discover that Carroll picks up his work not from AD0, but from the moment of Creation itself. Audacious! And yet his historical approach provides a new view of Genesis.
Secondly, Carroll's portrait of the evolution of Judaism, through the birth of Christ gives a compelling view of the necessity of the Old Testament as a precondition to the New.
Finally, the extent to which "Foundation" establishes chronological context is particularly impressive. Without so much as a "Meanwhile, in Greece..." Carroll manages to firmly establish the temporal relationship of Biblical events within the broader context of world history. It is one thing to look at a wall chart displaying events in different civilizations at different times, and quite another to understand the relationship between Philistine domination of the Israelites and the Homeric legends of ancient Greece. Certainly other works have hinted at the similarities between the Phillistines, Goliath and the Grecian demi-gods, but Carroll's was the first work that made it click so clearly.
Finally, this is the best of the four comparably excellent volumes for one primary reason: this volume has the least number of references to "August, the ancient dying time of Rome," the phrase of resort that may be Carroll's one true weakness.
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In this age of scathing biblical criticism and rigorous historical objectivity it is definately a relief to find someone writing history from a theocentric point-of-view. Warren H. Carroll makes way for Christ and His Church through a general overview of history starting with man's earliest encounters with God all the way to the establishment of Christendom by Constantine the Great. A thorough account of the life of Christ is given along with a clear, detailed narrative defining the Apostles' missions at home and abroad, the steadfast character of Christianity under persecution, and the pride of the Roman Empire giving way to the conquering humility and ethics of Christianity. An eloquent summation of both the New and Old Testaments are treated with strong and convincing answers to modern criticism - Carroll's colorful storyline mixed with brilliant Christian apologetics makes this an excessively convincing read...there are four books in this series currently in print, two more presently in the making.
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I labored through several other church history books until I came across this gem of a series (four of six completed). Dr. Carroll has done thorough research and comes across with a balanced view -- and from an unashamedly Catholic perspective -- in very readable prose. Now that Dr. Carroll has retired, perhaps he will make time for book five in the series. I cannot wait!
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Warren H. Carroll's "The Founding of Christendom" exceeds expectations both in content and execution. The author has marshaled an astonishing number of historical facts supported by nearly 2000 end notes; his story-telling skills are formidable, and the narrative sweep is breathtaking. The effort to wrap accurate history in an interesting, exciting, and lofty style is an enormous success.

Carroll begins his survey by peering back to the edges of history, but unlike many authors of this genre he does not make suppositional leaps of the kind that G.K. Chesterton skewers in The Everlasting Man. Carroll approaches his subject with a Catholic point of view, in contrast to many authors of similar works that are neither aware of nor will admit to their own subjectivity. This approach is refreshingly honest, and that honesty results in a very objective treatment of Christian history since the author is self-censoring his admitted bias.
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Warren Carroll is one of the most amazing historians I have ever read. Unashamedly and unapoligetically Catholic, he also has an incredible amount of learning under his belt, without ever sounding pedantic. For example, his bibliography has a short summary note under each & every book entry. He is also incredibly opinionated, sometimes in opposition to all other scholarly writers. Sometimes right, sometimes ridiculous, always interesting. I can't recommend anything by this author highly enough, and I have read about everything he has published.
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