First Thousand Years: A Global History Of Christianity  -     By: Robert Louis Wilken
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First Thousand Years: A Global History Of Christianity

Yale University Press / 2012 / Hardcover

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Product Description

There is no one who writes history with the clarity, precision, and sympathy as does Robert Louis Wilken. In The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity Wilken sets out to provide a new narrative of how Christianity's early institutions blossomed into a globally influential culture that last over one thousand years. Beginning at the time of Christ and extending to approximately 980 A.D., Wilken examines the extensively reviewed history of the Christian West with thoughtful analysis, but also pays ample attention to the spread of Christianity all the way to China despite stiffer cultural and religious resistance.

Readers will find in Wilken's work a highly accessible account of the church's early years, and an account that takes seriously church historical tradition while engaging critical with primary sources and sound historical methodology. This is book is gem, and all who read it will benefit enormously from the wisdom and historical judiciousness of its author.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.30 X 6.20 (inches)
ISBN: 0300118848
ISBN-13: 9780300118841
Availability: Available to ship on or about 10/01/14.
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Publisher's Description

How did a community that was largely invisible in the first two centuries of its existence go on to remake the civilizations it inhabited, culturally, politically, and intellectually? Beginning with the life of Jesus, Robert Louis Wilken narrates the dramatic spread and development of Christianity over the first thousand years of its history. Moving through the formation of early institutions, practices, and beliefs to the transformations of the Roman world after the conversion of Constantine, he sheds new light on the subsequent stories of Christianity in the Latin West, the Byzantine and Slavic East, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

Through a selected narration of particularly noteworthy persons and events, Wilken demonstrates how the coming of Christianity set in motion one of the most profound revolutions the world has known. This is not a story limited to the West; rather, Christian communities in Ethiopia, Nubia, Armenia, Georgia, Persia, Central Asia, India, and China shaped the course of Christian history. The rise and spread of Islam had a lasting impact on the future of Christianity, and several chapters are devoted to the early experiences of Christians under Muslim rule. Wilken reminds us that the career of Christianity is characterized by decline and attrition as well as by growth and expansion. 

Ten years in the making and the result of a lifetime of study, this is Robert Louis Wilken’s summa, a moving, reflective, and commanding account from a scholar at the height of his powers.

Author Bio

Robert Louis Wilken is William R. Kenan Professor of the History of Christianity Emeritus, University of Virginia. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Publishers Weekly

In this brilliant survey of the development of Christianity, Wilken, dean of early Christian history (The Christians as the Romans Saw Them), tells a riveting story of a struggling young religion searching for an identity that slowly, over the course of centuries, develops into a collection of religious communities of global proportions. He traces the lives and thought of many individuals who give the story of Christianity its peculiar vigor: Macrina, who introduced a form of monasticism to Asia Minor; Theodore Abu Qurrah, the first Christian to write theological works in Arabic; theological thinkers such as Augustine and Origen, among others. Wilken elegantly weaves the colorful threads of the Christian development of doctrines and rituals with the influence of three significant institutions—bishops, monks, and kings or emperors—into a patchwork quilt that colorfully covers Christianity's expansion in the first third of the millennium, its mid-millennium rise, and its decline in its encounters with Islam in the eighth and ninth centuries. By the end of the first millennium, Christians lived in three large areas—Syria and the Arabic Middle East, the Greek and Slavic East, the Latin West—and each region had its own distinctive forms of Christian life, art, worship, and piety. (Nov.) 2012 Reed Business Information

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