The Feast of Christmas
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Liturgical Press / 2010 / Paperback
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The Feast of Christmas

Liturgical Press / 2010 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW633251


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Product Description

In The Feast of Christmas author Joseph Kelly, PhD., a professor of religious studies, assures readers that the celebration of Christmas is still alive and well. He traces the history of Christmas from its earliest form in the 4th century to the present age. Though it may no longer be in its traditional form it is still thrives in the midst of rampant consumerism. Paperback.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 136
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0814633250
ISBN-13: 9780814633250

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Publisher's Description

Many Christians struggle to balance the religious and secular elements of Christmas, but the history of the feast shows that this is nothing new. The religious Christmas has changed over the centuries and, contrary to many critics, is thriving today. This brief, accessible account will explain that:
The first Christians did not celebrate Christmas at al. The earliest mention of the feast occurs in the fourth century. In the Middle Ages Christmas moved into northern Europe where it became a major winter festival, competing with the pagan Yule. During the sixteenth century some Christians objected to Christmas because they claimed it had no biblical foundation. In England and New England the Puritans made it a crime to celebrate it! The modern secular Christmas arose in the nineteenth century, but the religious Christmas continued to grow in popularity and meshed well with the developing emphasis on Christmas as a day for family and friends. In today's world, rampant consumerism threatens the religious Christmas, but it continues not only to survive but to flourish, taking on new life and new forms.

By tracing these and other aspects of the religious celebration of Christmas through the centuries, Joseph F. Kelly does much more than provide us with interesting facts. He reassures us that though the religious Christmas may not be in its traditional form, it is indeed alive and well, and has a bright and promising future.

Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, is professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is author of The Origins of Christmas, An Introduction to the New Testament for Catholics, The Collegeville Church History Timeline, The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospels, and The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church, al published by Liturgical Press.

Author Bio

Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, is professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is author of The Origins of Christmas, An Introduction to the New Testament for Catholics, The Collegeville Church History Timeline, The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospels, and The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church, all published by Liturgical Press.

Publisher Summary

Many Christians struggle to balance the religious and secular elements of Christmas, but the history of the feast shows that this is nothing new. The religious Christmas has changed over the centuries and, contrary to many critics, is thriving today. This brief, accessible account will explain that:

  • The first Christians did not celebrate Christmas at all. The earliest mention of the feast occurs in the fourth century.
  • In the Middle Ages Christmas moved into northern Europe where it became a major winter festival, competing with the pagan Yule.
  • During the sixteenth century some Christians objected to Christmas because they claimed it had no biblical foundation. In England and New England the Puritans made it a crime to celebrate it!
  • The modern secular Christmas arose in the nineteenth century, but the religious Christmas continued to grow in popularity and meshed well with the developing emphasis on Christmas as a day for family and friends.
  • In today’s world rampant consumerism threatens the religious Christmas, but it continues not only to survive but to flourish, taking on new life and new forms.

By tracing these and other aspects of the religious celebration of Christmas through the centuries, Joseph F. Kelly does much more than provide us with interesting facts. He reassures us that though the religious Christmas may not be in its traditional form, it is indeed alive and well—and has a bright and promising future.

Editorial Reviews

Here is a lovely and informative book that will help you get in the mood for Christmas. Kelly’s analysis and reflections … are wise and judicious.
Donald Senior, The Bible Today

An easy read, this would be a great book not only for the general audience for who Kelly wrote, but also for parish youth groups and even older Catholic school youngsters. It’s just fun, fascinating, enjoyable. I also recommend a bit of Christmas customs and development reading during late spring!
Liturgical Ministry

Centuries of Christmas celebrations described with humor and snap. Kelly looks at the festivities from consumerist, secular, and Christian points of view. A grand gift for the season.
Frederick W. Norris Professor of World Christianity, Emeritus Emmanuel School of Religion, Tennessee

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