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The formation of Christian orthodoxy revealed!,
This review is from: Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years (Hardcover)
In the plethora of current works on non-orthodox early movements from the likes of excellent scholars such Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagel (plus the absurd novels of Dan Brown and his imitators, which I shudder to mention in the same sentence), there has been precious little recent consideration of the establishment of Christian orthodoxy from a historical perspective. Into that breach steps Philip Jenkins with his interesting and readable "Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians would Believe for 1,500 Years."
Jenkins illuminates often neglected history of the competing strains of Christianity, the charges of heresy and counter-heresy leveled over and over again as theologians and bishops sought to settle the apparent contradictions inherent in ideas like the Trinity and "The Divine Made Flesh." If some imagine these conflicts as intellectual, they were at the time considered deadly serious, and a deluge of blood was shed on both sides.
While on occasion one might grow confused about the various heresies, Jenkins does yeoman work helping the reader keep them straight, including excellent appendices following at the end of certain chapters. As for entertainment, he also offers a variety of interesting character sketches of the prime movers in the debate, neither beatifying nor overly vilifying them. No doubt some will take offense, but for those interested in learning of the battles that set the fault lines for a millennium and half of Christianity, this is a welcome read.
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Initial post: Feb 27, 2011 7:55:10 AM PST
Laurie Peterson says:
Posted on Nov 3, 2013 11:28:42 AM PST
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