The Origins of Christmas, Revised Edition   -     By: Joseph F. Kelly
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The Origins of Christmas, Revised Edition

Liturgical Press / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

When was Christmas first celebrated? How did December 25 become the date for the feast? How did the Bible's "magi from the East" become three kings named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar who rode camels from three different continents to worship the newborn Christ? How did the Feast of the Nativity generate an entire liturgical season from Advent to Candlemas? Why did medieval and Renaissance artists portray Joseph as an old man? When did the first Christmas music appear? And who was the real Saint Nicholas?

These and many other questions are answered in this revised and expanded edition of The Origins of Christmas. The story of the origins of Christmas is not well known, but it is a fascinating tale. It begins when the first Christians had little interest in Christ's Nativity, and it finishes when Christmas had become an integral part of Christian life and Western culture.

The Origins of Christmas covers a variety of topics in a concise and accessible style, and is suitable for group discussions.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 182
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0814648606
ISBN-13: 9780814648605

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Author Bio

Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, chair of the department of theology and religious studies at John Carroll University, is active in adult religious education in the Greater Cleveland area. The World of the Early Christians (1997), The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition (2002), and History and Heresy (2012) are among his nine previous books published by Liturgical Press.

Editorial Reviews

"This brief well-researched book is recommended not only for academic readers but also appeals to the general public."
Theological Studies

"The diverse origins of Christmas will come as a fascinating surprise to most who know only the Sunday school version of the Christmas from their childhoods. . . . Very highly recommended and informative reading."
Midwest Book Review

"Dr. Kelly has a tremendous breadth of knowledge about the Christmas story, and in this revised and expanded edition of The Origins of Christmas he shares fascinating details about the Nativity, from the prophecies prior to Jesus’ birth to the traditions that formed over the many centuries that followed. Scholars and laypeople alike can join with Kelly as he examines a variety of extrabiblical sources, including art and ancient sermons, to paint a more complete picture of the events associated with the world’s most popular holiday."
Angie Mosteller
Founder, Celebrating Holidays
Author of Christmas: Celebrating the Christian History of Classic Symbols, Songs  and Stories

"This volume . . . serves well to dispel myths, explain legends, and name key figures for any reader interested in the subject."
Themelios

"What a wonderful little book this is–full of historical and scriptural information! It is readable and accessible to all.  But best of all–what a splendid antidote to the commercialism of the Christmas season to be reminded of the true meaning of this happy, holy day."
Catholic Library World

"One of the many pleasures this book has to offer is the chance to recognize familiar faces-whether those of Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar or those of the ox and the ass-and to learn more about where they come from and why they are now so much a part of our understanding of Christmas.  It shows the power of a good story, a story that Kelly calls ’a delight to research and tell.’  That delight, so evident throughout his book, makes it a pleasure to read."
Catholic Books Review
Catholic Studies

"With its colorful binding, interesting illustrations, wide coverage of topics and modest cost, the book is a valuable source of information and makes a fine Advent-Christmas gift."
Prairie Messenger

"This new book is a polished diamond: sound scholarship rendered in clear prose."
St. Anthony Messenger

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