The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and How It Died  -     By: Philip Jenkins
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The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and How It Died

HarperCollins / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

A revealing study of the surprising and little-known story about the earliest, largest, and most influential Christian churches east of Rome. Jenkins explores how these communities became extinct after 1,000 years as the dominant Christian expression. He further demonstrates how those "lost era" believers shaped certain Muslim and Christian practices we know today. 315 pages, softcover from HarperOne.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 315
Vendor: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.30 (inches)
ISBN: 0061472816
ISBN-13: 9780061472817

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Publisher's Description

“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.”
 —Forbes magazine

The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins offers a revolutionary view of the history of the Christian church. Subtitled “The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died,” it explores the extinction of the earliest, most influential Christian churches of China, India, and the Middle East, which held the closest historical links to Jesus and were the dominant expression of Christianity throughout its first millennium. The remarkable true story of the demise of the institution that shaped both Asia and Christianity as we know them today, The Lost History of Christianity is a controversial and important work of religious scholarship that sounds a warning that must be heeded.

Author Bio

Philip Jenkins, the author of The Lost History of Christianity, Jesus Wars, and The Next Christendom, is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion. He has published articles and op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post and has been a guest on top national radio shows across the country.

Editorial Reviews

“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.”
“. . . persuasively and cogently argued . . . marvelously accessible for the lay reader and replete with fascinating details to help personalize the ambitious sweep of global history Jenkins undertakes. This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.”
“Philip Jenkins’s marvelous new book...tells the largely forgotten story of Nisibis, and thousands of sites like it, which stretch from Morocco to Kenya to India to China, and which were, deep into the second millennium, the heart of the church.”
“Jenkins’s well-crafted new not only a welcome addition to the literature on Christianity as a truly global religion, to which he has already made substantial contributions, but also an invitation to retrieve a forgotten chapter of history that has not inconsiderable relevance to current events.”
“In leaner, clearer prose than ever before, Jenkins outlines and analyzes this history, which few present-day Christians have even heard of. This may be the most eye-opening history book of the year.”
“Philip Jenkins’ book is a tour de force in historical retrieval and reconstruction, a work of scholarly restoration that strikes an overdue balance in the story of Christianity. It is studded with insight, with the story presented in a lively and lucid style.”
“Philip Jenkins always writes well on very interesting topics. This time his topic is more than interesting-it is essential reading for anyone with any interest in the history of Christianity.”
“ exceptionally fine study of a great swathe of Christian history, hugely important in the Christian story but very little known. This thoughtful, elegant and learned survey will remedy the neglect of a subject which students of religion absolutely need to know about.”
“In this highly readable and sobering exploration of how religions - including our own - grow, falter and sometimes die, Jenkins adds a unique dimension to present day religious studies in a voice and style that non-specialists can also appreciate.”
“[Jenkins’] depiction of the long Christian history of Asia, Mesopotamia, and the greater Middle East is both a much-needed education and a spiritually fruitful provocation.”
“The Lost History of Christianity is a fascinating study of the first thousand-plus years of the Church--a Church rooted in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. We have much to learn from the tale of its reach, its particular way of being Christian, and its eventual decomposition ”
“Using his skill to discredit murky thinking and propose new understandings where the old no longer serve a good purpose, Jenkins offers yet another jewel in what is becoming a crown of paradigm-shattering studies. [This book] will amply reward your investment of time and attention.”

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
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4.5 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. Whittier, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 16, 2011
    Whittier, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book gives a real and very important history of middle-eastern and eastern Christianity in contrast to the unlikely speculations of the Jesus Seminar.
  2. Texas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Very informative and well researched
    December 31, 2010
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The front cover tells us what the book is about: a 1000 year period history of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It is about the Nestorian Church and churches similar to it. Jenkins illustrates how that during the period of roughly AD 400-1400 there were three very large groups of Christians who agreed with the Council of Nicea: the Catholics, the Greek Orthodox and the Nestorian and Jacobite churches. It is not about the non-Catholic Christians, such as the Donatists and the Paulicans, whose writings were nearly all destroyed. I don't agree with all of Jenkins' conclusions, but I learned much from this interesting and well-written book.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 19, 2010
    Justin Vollmar
    A very inspiring study of Christian churches. For many years, I struggled with the concept of Asia, Africa, and Middle East being mired in pagan and dark for more than a thousand year. I couldn't understand how all-powerful and loving God could have allowed this to happen. This book broke through my euro-centric, narrow understanding. My heart become so uplifted when I read of God's movement in those countries before it was darkened again. I now gladly share the info from the book to anyone who calls Christianity a white man's religion. I now tell them that Christians did spread gospel in those countries but due to many factors, they died out. Then providentially, God sent European missionaries in reaction to death of national Christians.
  4. 1 Stars Out Of 5
    January 8, 2010
    Dr. David Tee
    Jenkins does what so many atheists and others do, he lumps anyone who says the word christian into the same category. This book was disappointing and not what i was expecting. I was hoping for a treatise on those beievers who remained outside of the RCC but what is provided is just the same old thing. There is no real scholarship to this book and no attempt to investigate the history of believers properly. The RC church was not the only historical church, nor were the heretical ones the only alternative. It would be nice to have someone write a book investigating those true believers who seem to have been lost to history but continued in following Jesus and His ways but did not get any notice.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 14, 2009
    Dr. Cahyana E. Purnama, MA
    In my opinion, I do not agree to the exclamation that "... The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in The Middle East, Africa, and Asia-and How It Died." As an Asian by blood and lives almost totally in Asian context, I have learned that Christianity in Asia and Africa have never dead. So far, as I had also discussed with fellows in Program for Theology and Cultures in Asia (PTCA), it was true that Christianity in most of those mentioned area there had been decreased. However, there have still lived some root of Christianity in its specific context. For example, in the island of Java, up to present time there have blossomed idea that the Javanese's character was established in the year of 78 AD by a prominent person called Ajisaka (means: Someone who come from the highest). Besides, for every time the Javanese people want to raise a special prayer for their family member that had dead, especially in the 3rd, 7th, 40th and 100th and 1000th day, they have used to make a symbol of small hill (made of rice) with a cross (made of red chilly) and shared a boiled cock that was sliced with the hand of leader and says: Let's eat in commemorate of our life saving prayer with th late one..."So, here I want to encourage another follow study about the unique way of basic Christian life have (might be) lived in every ethnical life-setting in the continent of Asia and Africa. It will be another amazing publication!
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