Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years   -     By: Diarmaid MacCulloch
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Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

Viking / 2010 / Hardcover

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Product Description

When Diarmaid MacCulloch released his award-winning book The Reformation, it was met with wide acclaim for its unparalleled depth and accessible insight into one of the most important eras in Christian history. Now, in Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, MacCulloch takes you not only to the dawn of Christian history, but into the backdrop of the pre-New Testament Greco-Roman culture which ultimately informed, influenced and surrounded the middle-eastern world of Jesus' revolutionary ministry.
MacCulloch's Christianity is an unprecedented historical journey that takes the reader through Greek and Roman antiquity, to the events of the Intertestamental period, and through the span of Christ's time on Earth. Further, MacCulloch eloquently narrates the events surrounding Apostolic Christianity, the doctrinal struggles during the era of the Ecumenical Councils, the growing divide between the Greek East and Latin West, the tumultuous period of the Crusades, the turbulent world of the Protestant Reformation and the events precipitating the awakenings in America and Great Britain. In addition, McCulloch introduces the reader to numerous monks, crusaders and mystics, as well as many lesser-known heretics and saints, breathing life into the vibrant spectrum of Christianity's three major branches. Magnificent in its scope, Diarmaid MacCulloch's work is certain to be an unrivaled benchmark in the field of Christian history for years to come.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 1104
Vendor: Viking
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0670021261
ISBN-13: 9780670021260

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Publisher's Description

The National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of The Reformation returns with the definitive history of Christianity for our time

Once in a generation a historian will redefine his field, producing a book that demands to be read-a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill. Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book. Breathtaking in ambition, it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world, following the three main strands of the Christian faith.

Christianity will teach modern readers things that have been lost in time about how Jesus' message spread and how the New Testament was formed. We follow the Christian story to all corners of the globe, filling in often neglected accounts of conversions and confrontations in Africa and Asia. And we discover the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the rise of the evangelical movement from its origins in Germany and England. This book encompasses all of intellectual history-we meet monks and crusaders, heretics and saints, slave traders and abolitionists, and discover Christianity's essential role in driving the enlightenment and the age of exploration, and shaping the course of World War I and World War II.

We are living in a time of tremendous religious awareness, when both believers and non-believers are deeply engaged by questions of religion and tradition, seeking to understand the violence sometimes perpetrated in the name of God. The son of an Anglican clergyman, MacCulloch writes with deep feeling about faith. His last book, The Reformation, was chosen by dozens of publications as Best Book of the Year and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. This awe-inspiring follow-up is a landmark new history of the faith that continues to shape the world.

Publisher's Weekly

Where does Christianity begin? In Athens, Jerusalem, or Rome? How did the early creeds of the church develop and differentiate? What was the impact of the Reformation and the Catholic Counterreformation? How have vital Christian communities emerged in Asia, Africa, and India since the 18th century? Award-winning historian MacCulloch (The Reformation) attempts to answer these questions and many more in this elegantly written, magisterial history of Christianity. MacCulloch diligently traces the origins and development of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christianities, and he provides a more in-depth look at the development of Christianity in Asia and Africa than standard histories of Christianity. He offers sketches of Christian thinkers from Augustine and Luther to Desmond Tutu and Patriarch Bartholomew I. Three appendixes contain a list of popes, Orthodox patriarchs, and a collection of Christian texts. Assuming no previous knowledge on the part of readers about Christian traditions, MacCulloch traces in breathtaking detail the often contentious arguments within Christianity for the past 3,000 years. His monumental achievement will not soon be surpassed. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"A landmark contribution ... It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive and surprisingly accessible volume than MacCulloch's."
-Jon Meacham, The New York Times Book Review

"A well-informed and - bless the man - witty narrative guaranteed to please and at the same time displease every single reader, if hardly in identical measure.... The author's prose style is fluent, well-judged and wholly free of cant ... You will shut this large book with gratitude for a long and stimulating journey."
-The Washington Times

"A prodigious, thrilling, masterclass of a history book. MacCulloch is to be congratulated for his accessible handling of so much complex, difficult material ... He keeps the reader engaged with wit and choice anecdotes and throughout the entire book he retains his own distinctive, slightly irreverent perspective, and an unerring instinct for when to go from macro to micro history."
-John Cornwell, Financial Times

"He brings an insider's wit to tracing the fate of official Christianity in an age of doubt, and to addressing modern surges of zeal, from Mormons to Pentecostals."

"A triumphantly executed achievement. This book is a landmark in its field, astonishing in its range, compulsively readable, full of insight even for the most jaded professional and of illumination for the interested general reader. It will have few, if any, rivals in the English language."
-Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

"Christianity is a tour de force: it has enormous range, is gracefully and wittily written, and from page one holds the attention. Everyone who reads it will learn things they didn't know."
-Eamon Duffy, author of Saints and Sinners

"The great strength of the book is that it covers, in sufficient but not oppressive detail, huge areas of Christian history which are dealt with cursorily in traditional accounts of the subject and are unfamiliar to most English-speaking readers ... His analysis of why Christianity has taken root in Korea but made such a hash in India is perceptive and his account of the nineteenth-century missions in Africa and the Pacific is first-rate and full of insight."
-Paul Johnson, author of The Quest for God

Product Reviews

3.2 Stars Out Of 5
3.2 out of 5
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
2.5 out Of 5
(2.5 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
2.3 out Of 5
(2.3 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
Page 1 of 1
  1. The Netherlands, Europe
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Well written, but entirely from human perspective
    October 10, 2012
    Jan Willem
    The Netherlands, Europe
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    This review was written for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.
    The book is well written, accessible, and "lege artis" historically. But it is written entirely from the human perspective: humans invented the Jewish history, humans wrote the bible, humans invented the christian religion, and humans are quarreling about its details. If you are looking for religious inspiration, I would definitely not recommend reading this book. But it does put those details which have been subject to so much discussion in the past centuries in a broader perspective, which can make it easier to accept different christian denominations as brothers and sisters.
  2. Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    The author is very biased.
    January 4, 2012
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    The author's anti- Christian bias shows throughout the book in statements far too many to number. He frequently throws in opinionated statements to subtly attack the veracity of Christianity.
  3. Vancouver BC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Very detailed and comprehensive.
    April 11, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.
    This is a very comprehensive history of the development of Christianity. The reader will probably have heard of and know something about the major players mentioned, but there are a great number of until now obscure characters who have walk-on parts. It is almost more of an encyclopedia than a narrative. Great as a reference work, but a long slog through a thousand pages.
  4. San Francisco, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Liberal secular revisionist view of Christianity
    October 6, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    By his own admission the author is angry at Christianity. The authro throws opinions around, some are plausible and some simply wrong and misleading. His bias shows through and through.

    Since his footnones are very sparce (although he got his material from other published sources) it is hard to lend any credence to most of his arguments.

    The last thing I would call MacCulloch is an historian.

    If you want to see an example of how an historical approach to christianity should be made I would suggest reading Craig Keener's commentary of the Gospel of John.

    You get all known sources and different opinions about specific topics including the author's.

    On the positive side the author has a very plasant writing style which reads like a novel, which probably contributed to the previous positive review.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 26, 2010
    Joel Ogter
    The writer has a deep knowledge of this vast subject. His book is meticulously researched and beautifully written. Despite the intimidating length, I'm enjoying every page and already (halfway through) amd sad to know this wonderful read will end.
Displaying items 1-5 of 5
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