The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History

4.01 avg rating
( 1,165 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780691027494: The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History

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.

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

From the Back Cover:

"This brilliant and highly provocative book will revolutionize the way people think about both biblical studies and church history."--Irving Hexham

"A provocative, insightful, challenging account. . . It is marvelous exercise in sociological imagination and a warning to those who like simple explanations."--Andrew M. Greeley

About the Author:

Rodney Stark is Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion at the University of Washington. He is the author of many books, including The Churching of America, 1776-1990, with Roger Finke, and A Theory of Religion, with William Sims Bainbridge.

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

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Stark, Rodney
Published by Princeton University Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Media Neat
(Glenview, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Gift conditionWe Ship Every Day! Free Tracking Number Included! International Buyers Are Welcome! Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Bookseller Inventory # 15676564678t

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 46.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Stark, Rodney
Published by Princeton University Press (2017)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # P110691027498

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 64.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Rodney Stark
Published by Princeton University Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # WP-9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 60.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.89
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Rodney Stark
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 72.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Rodney Stark
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 1996. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 74.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Rodney Stark
Published by Princeton University Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0691027498

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 75.39
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Stark, Rodney
Published by Princeton University Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days.THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IP-9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 77.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Rodney Stark
Published by Princeton University Press 1996-06-17, Princeton, N.J. (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press 1996-06-17, Princeton, N.J., 1996. hardback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 74.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.93
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Rodney Stark
Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 80.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.17
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Stark, Rodney
Published by Princeton University Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0691027498 ISBN 13: 9780691027494
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # INGM9780691027494

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 85.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book