The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries

4.04 avg rating
( 1,336 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780060677015: The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life.

"Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance. . . must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Publisher:

"Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly) , this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is already the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance... must read it," says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews -- and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greely, University of Chicago).

From the Inside Flap:

The idea that Christianity started as a clandestine movement among the poor is a widely accepted notion. Yet it is one of many myths that must be discarded if we are to understand just how a tiny messianic movement on the edge of the Roman Empire became the dominant faith of Western civilization. In a fast-paced, highly readable book that addresses beliefs as well as historical facts, Rodney Stark brings a sociologist's perspective to bear on the puzzle behind the success of early Christianity. He comes equipped not only with the logic and methods of social science but also with insights gathered firsthand into why people convert and how new religious groups recruit members. He digs deep into the historical evidence on many issues--such as the social background of converts, the mission to the Jews, the status of women in the church, the role of martyrdom--to provide a vivid and unconventional account of early Christianity.

The author plots the most plausible curve of Christian growth from the year 40 to 300. By the time of Constantine, Christianity had become a considerable force, with growth patterns very similar to those of modern-day successful religious movements. An unusual number of Christian converts, for example, came from the educated, cosmopolitan classes. Because it offered a new perspective on familiar concepts and was not linked to ethnicity, Christianity had a large following among persons seeking to assimilate into the dominant culture, mainly Hellenized Jews. The oversupply of women in Christian communities--due partly to the respect and protection they received--led to intermarriages with pagans, hence more conversions, and to a high fertility rate.

Stark points out, too, the role played by selflessness and faith. Amidst the epidemics, fires, and other disasters that beleaguered Greco-Roman cities, Christian communities were a stronghold of mutual aid, which resulted in a survival rate far greater than that of the pagans. In the meantime, voluntary martyrdom, especially a generation after the death of Christ, reinforced the commitment of the Christian rank and file. What Stark ultimately offers is a multifaceted portrait of early Christianity, one that appeals to practical reasoning, historical curiosity, and personal reflection.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Stark, Rodney
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 1997. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # VC-9780060677015

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 8.52
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.5. Seller Inventory # OTF-S-9780060677015

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.30
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Rodney Stark
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (1997)
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "Compelling reading" ( "Library Journal" ) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" ( "Publishers Weekly" ), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is already the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance. must read it, " says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for "The Rise of Christianity" makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews -- and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greely, University of Chicago). Seller Inventory # LIO9780060677015

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.58
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Best Bates
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.60
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Mega Buzz
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Stark, Rodney
Published by HarperSanFrancisco
ISBN 10: 0060677015 ISBN 13: 9780060677015
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperSanFrancisco. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0060677015. Seller Inventory # Z0060677015ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book