A History of Christianity: The Growth and Evolution of Christianity

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9780297815778: A History of Christianity: The Growth and Evolution of Christianity

Eminent church historian Owen Chadwick has written this original, sweeping history of the Christian faith. Using layman's language, he surveys the lives of Christians over two millennia. A History of Christianity is essential reading for anyone interested in one of the most powerful influences on global civilization.

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Owen Chadwick, an eminent church historian, has written an original, sweeping history of the Christian faith from the perspective of a people's religion. A History of Christianity will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in one of the most powerful influences on global civilization. Starting with Christianity's origins as a Jewish sect, the author shows how Europe was converted; and then how the Christian faith was accepted by the Americas, much of Africa and parts of the East. He discusses the effects of the faith on the lives of believers throughout two millennia: the mutually uneasy relationship of the early Christians with the State; the rise of great monastic and clerical institutions, the different holy orders and their roles in disseminating the faith; Christ's imitators, and the canonization of exemplary Christians; the coming of the Protestants, and their attitudes towards work, worship and religious toleration; and Christianity's decline in Europe but expansion into the wider world, alongside twentieth-century issues such as the emancipation of women, birth control, Muslim fundamentalism, Nazi racism and Marxist atheism. In addition, he explains the evolution of the faith's artistic expression: the development of ecclesiastical architecture, from discreet house churches in the Roman age, via the soaring splendour of the Middle Ages, to the studios of the TV evangelists; the rituals, including the interpretations of the sacred texts, vestments, and the rise of choral music, from oratorio to hymns and spirituals. He discusses the Church's role in caring within the community - both medical and pastoral care - and its shifting attitudes to cruelty and war, from themartyrdoms of the Spanish Inquisition to the pacifism of this century.

About the Author:

Owen Chadwick was Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge from 1968 to 1983. He has written many books, including The Reformation, The Victorian Church, The Popes and European Revolution, as a result of which he was awarded the Wolfson Prize for history, and Michael Ramsey.

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