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A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500 (Revised) Revised ed. Edition
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Like many church histories written by Western historians, its emphasis is on the Roman West rather than on the Eastern Orthodox Church. While it does cover the developments within the Eastern church, it does not do so with the depth that it does the West. Moreover, unlike some church histories, its emphasis is on events and movements rather than on the development of doctrine. For instance, one is not going to find an extended discussion of the theological issues that led to, say, the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon.
This is not the work for someone who wants a fairly brief overview, since, although an overview, it is fairly detailed.Read more ›
About Martin Luther, he observes, "Although at the outset he had no thought of breaking with the Pope or the Church of Rome, he was not one to draw back, and prudence and guarded speech were alien to his nature." (Pg. 708) He says, "The reign of Mary witnessed a number of beheadings and burnings, so much so, indeed, that her critics remembered her as 'Bloody Mary.' ... Yet the brief reign was punctuated with rebellions and the spirit of the times regarded as normal the execution of the leaders." (Pg. 809)
He notes about the slave trade: "exploration commenced partly for the purpose of propagating the Christian faith ... had as one of their effects a traffic brutalizing both to those who constituted its wares and to those who conducted it." (Pg. 927) He suggests that in an 1891 encyclical, Leo XIII "put himself on the side of labour in the mounting industrialism. Condemning socialism as a false remedy... he also insisted that ... the employer must not tax his employees beyond their strength." (Pg. 1103)
In his summation, he concludes, "Christianity has ... impelled men to fight suffering, whether ... from disease, war, or natural disasters.Read more ›
Because of its detail, this is not the ideal book for someone looking for a brief overview of church history. However, it's an excellent work for someone who already has an overview and wants to study the history of Christianity in a bit more depth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is interesting but the author is somwhat biased because of his own religious opinions. Alot of history was left out especialy the full roll that emperor Constantine played on... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Joseph Hefner
This book is very thought provoking. It opens up may points that are not generally known or realized. Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by Reg Brian-Davis
My professor at Fuller Theological Seminary assigned it so you know it's got a lot of good information in it. Read morePublished on May 24, 2013 by Keen to Analyze