Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Discuss the transformation of the early Jesus movement into an Religious Empire after 325 CE. Write a 300 word response giving your reflections about upsides and downsides of the Im - Writeedu

Discuss the transformation of the early Jesus movement into an Religious Empire after 325 CE. Write a 300 word response giving your reflections about upsides and downsides of the Im


Discuss the transformation of the early Jesus movement into an Religious Empire after 325 CE.

Write a 300 word response giving your reflections about upsides and downsides of the Imperialization of Christianity in the Roman Empire under Constantine and his successors.

  1. Give a brief review or summary of the information from the textbook.
  2. Give you own reaction to the transformation of Christianity into Christendom.  Do you agree with the textbook? Disagree? Do you think that becoming the official approved religion of the Empire was helpful and healthy for Christianity? or harmful?
  3. Support your argument with evidence and examples.

"This is a wonderful introduction to the history of Christianity. It pays the most attention to the rise and spread of the Christian faith in the ancient near east and the medieval and modern west. But it also tells the story of this faith's rapid shift to the global south and far east during the past 100 years − and does so with the kind of clear and compelling English prose that will be recognized as vintage McGrath by experts in the field. I strongly recom- mend it, and look forward to using it frequently with students and other readers."

—Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"As Christianity expands around the globe, this intelligent introduction introduces key figures, ideas, and developments in Christian history, balancing illuminating generaliza- tions with engaging detailed examples. The mutual interactions of churches and cultures are highlighted, and theological developments are clearly articulated. McGrath succeeds in whetting the reader’s appetite for further study."

—Anne T. Thayer, Lancaster Theological Seminary

"It is difficult to write a comprehensive text on Christian history in this day and age. There are deeply rutted roads in scholarship that lead the conventional historian to focus on the twilight of Christianity in the west and the inevitability of secularization. These develop- ments, while all too true, distort both the present vitality of Christian faith and its future. McGrath avoids these pitfalls. While firmly rooted in the essentials of the Christian story, he also has a clear sense of the new paths Christian faith is taking in global evangelical outreach."

—Walter Sundberg, Luther Seminary

Also by Alister E. McGrath from Wiley-Blackwell

Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought, Second Edition (2012) Reformation Thought: An Introduction, Fourth Edition (2012) Theology: The Basic Readings, Second Edition (edited, 2012) Theology: The Basics, Third Edition (2012) Luther’s Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther’s Theological Breakthrough, Second Edition (2011) Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology (2011) The Christian Theology Reader, Fourth Edition (edited, 2011) Christian Theology: An Introduction, Fifth Edition (2011) Science and Religion: A New Introduction, Second Edition (2009) The Open Secret: A New Vision for Natural Theology (2008) The Order of Things: Explorations in Scientific Theology (2006) Christianity: An Introduction, Second Edition (2006) Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life (2004) The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation, Second Edition (2003) Christian Literature: An Anthology (edited, 2003)* A Brief History of Heaven (2003) The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism (edited with Darren C. Marks, 2003) The Future of Christianity (2002) Reformation Thought: An Introduction, Third Edition (2000) Christian Spirituality: An Introduction (1999) Historical Theology: An Introduction (1998) The Foundations of Dialogue in Science and Religion (1998) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought (edited, 1995) A Life of John Calvin (1990)

* out of print




A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication

This edition first published 2013 © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Wiley-Blackwell is an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, formed by the merger of Wiley’s global Scientific, Technical and Medical business with Blackwell Publishing.

Registered Office John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UK

Editorial Offices 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5020, USA 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UK

For details of our global editorial offices, for customer services, and for information about how to apply for permission to reuse the copyright material in this book please see our website at

The right of Alister E. McGrath to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books.

Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed as trademarks. All brand names and product names used in this book are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The publisher is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold on the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering professional services. If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available

HB: 9781118337790 PB: 9781118337806

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Cover image: Cathedral of Brasilia at night, architect Oscar Niemeyer. © / SuperStock Cover design by Nicki Averill

Set in 10/13 pt Minion by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited

1 2013

Brief Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations xiii How to Use This Book xv

1. The Early Church, 100–500 1

2. The Middle Ages and Renaissance, c. 500–c. 1500 71

3. Competing Visions of Reform, c. 1500–c. 1650 150

4. The Modern Age, c. 1650–1914 214

5. The Twentieth Century, 1914 to the Present 285

Where Next? 349 A Glossary of Christian Terms 351 Index 361

Full Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations xiii How to Use This Book xv

1. The Early Church, 100–500 1

1.1. Setting the Context: The Origins of Christianity 2 1.1.1. The Crucible: The History of Israel 2 1.1.2. A Wider Context: The Pagan Quest for Wisdom 4 1.1.3. The Turning Point: Jesus of Nazareth 6 1.1.4. The Early Spread of Christianity 7 1.1.5. The Apostolic Age 10 1.1.6. Women in Apostolic Christianity 11 1.1.7. Christianity and Judaism: A Complex Relationship 14

1.2. Early Christianity and the Roman Empire 16 1.2.1. The Roman Empire, c. 100 17 1.2.2. Christianity and the Imperial Cult 19 1.2.3. Christianity and Judaism: Marcion of Sinope 20 1.2.4. Christianity and Pagan Culture: Justin Martyr 22 1.2.5. Early Christian Worship and Life 23

1.3. Early Christianity and the Hellenistic World 26 1.3.1. The Greek-Speaking World, c. 200 26 1.3.2. The Challenge of Gnosticism: Irenaeus of Lyons 28 1.3.3. The Challenge of Platonism: Clement of Alexandria and Origen 29 1.3.4. Christianity and the Cities: Alexandria and Antioch 31 1.3.5. Monasticism: A Reaction against the Cities 33 1.3.6. The Cult of Thecla: Women and the Churches 35

1.4. The Imperial Religion: The Conversion of Constantine 37 1.4.1. Roman Persecution of Christianity 38 1.4.2. The First Christian Emperor: Constantine 40

viii    Full Contents

1.4.3. The Christianization of the Roman Empire 43 1.4.4. The Imperialization of Christianity 44 1.4.5. Augustine of Hippo: The Two Cities 46 1.4.6. The Decline of the Western Empire 48 1.4.7. The “New Rome”: Byzantium and the Eastern Empire 49

1.5. Orthodoxy and Heresy: Patterns in Early Christian Thought 52 1.5.1. The Boundaries of Faith: A Growing Issue 52 1.5.2. The Canon of the New Testament 54 1.5.3. Arianism: The Debate over the Identity of Jesus of Nazareth 55 1.5.4. Trinitarianism: A Debate about the Nature of God 58 1.5.5. Donatism: A Debate over the Nature of the Church 60 1.5.6. Pelagianism: A Debate over Grace and Human Achievement 61 1.5.7. Innovation: A Debate over the Role of Tradition 63 1.5.8. The Origins and Development of Creeds 64 1.5.9. The Council of Chalcedon, 451 66

2. The Middle Ages and Renaissance, c. 500–c. 1500 71

2.1. Setting the Context: The Background to the High Middle Ages 72 2.1.1. Western Christianity after the Fall of Rome 73 2.1.2. The Rise of Celtic Christianity 75 2.1.3. The Seventh Century: Islam and Arab Expansion 77 2.1.4. The Age of Charlemagne 78 2.1.5. The Rise of the Monastic and Cathedral Schools 80 2.1.6. Byzantine Christianity: Monophysitism and Iconoclasm 81 2.1.7. Ninth-Century Debates: The Real Presence and Predestination 82 2.1.8. Orthodox Missions to Eastern Europe: Bulgaria and Russia 83 2.1.9. The Tenth Century: Institutional Decline and Decay 85 2.1.10. The “Great Schism” between East and West (1054) 87

2.2. The Dawn of the High Middle Ages 88 2.2.1. The Eleventh Century: The Gregorian Reforms 89 2.2.2. The Cultural Renaissance of the Twelfth Century 91 2.2.3. The Codification of Theology and Canon Law 92 2.2.4. The Rise of the University: The Paris and Oxford Schools 94 2.2.5. The Crusades: Spain and the Middle East 96 2.2.6. Secular and Religious Power: Innocent III 98 2.2.7. Franciscans and Dominicans: The Rise of the Mendicant

Orders 100 2.2.8. Women Mystics and Female Religious Orders 102

2.3. Medieval Religious Thought: The Scholastic Achievement 104 2.3.1. Cathedrals of the Mind: The Rise of Scholasticism 105 2.3.2. The Handmaid of Theology: The Rediscovery of Aristotle 107 2.3.3. A Reasonable Faith: Thomas Aquinas 108 2.3.4. Medieval Proofs for the Existence of God 109 2.3.5. The Consolidation of the Church’s Sacramental System 111 2.3.6. Medieval Biblical Interpretation 113

Full Contents    ix

2.3.7. A Byzantine Critique of Scholasticism: Hesychasm 115 2.3.8. The Medieval Worldview: Dante’s Divine Comedy 116

2.4. The Later Middle Ages 118 2.4.1. The Avignon Papacy and the Great Schism 119 2.4.2. The Rise of Conciliarism 121 2.4.3. Eastern Europe: The Rise of Russia as a Christian Nation 123 2.4.4. Heresy: Waldensians, Hussites, and Wycliffites 125 2.4.5. The Modern Devotion: The Brethren of the Common Life 126 2.4.6. Popular Religion: The Cult of the Saints 128 2.4.7. The Rise of the Ottoman Empire: The Fall of

Constantinople (1453) 131 2.5. The Renaissance: Cultural Renewal and Christian Expansion 132

2.5.1. A New Technology: The Religious Importance of Printing 133 2.5.2. The Origins of the Italian Renaissance 134 2.5.3. The Nature of Humanism 136 2.5.4. Erasmus of Rotterdam 138 2.5.5. The Renaissance and Religious Renewal 140 2.5.6. Christian Arts in the Middle Ages and Renaissance 143 2.5.7. Christian Expansion: Portuguese and Spanish Voyages of Discovery 145

3. Competing Visions of Reform, c. 1500–c. 1650 150

3.1. Setting the Context: The Background to the Reformation 151 3.1.1. The Pressure for Reform of the Church 151 3.1.2. The Changing Social Order of the Early Sixteenth Century 154 3.1.3. The Reformation and the Cities of Europe 155 3.1.4. A Crisis of Authority within the Church 156 3.1.5. The Origins of a Term: Protestantism 158

3.2. Protestantism: An Overview of a Movement 159 3.2.1. A Return to the Bible 159 3.2.2. The Doctrine of Justification by Faith 162 3.2.3. Democratization: The “Priesthood of All Believers” and the

Use of the Vernacular 163 3.2.4. The Rejection of Papal Authority 165 3.2.5. Two Sacraments – and Reception in Both Kinds 168 3.2.6. A New Work Ethic and the Development of Capitalism 169

3.3. The Mainstream Reformation: Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin 170 3.3.1. Martin Luther: A Brief History 170 3.3.2. Luther’s Reformation at Wittenberg 173 3.3.3. Huldrych Zwingli: A Brief History 175 3.3.4. Zwingli’s Reformation at Zurich 177 3.3.5. John Calvin: A Brief History 179 3.3.6. Calvin’s Reformation at Geneva 181

3.4. Reformations across Europe: The Bigger Picture 183 3.4.1. The Radical Reformation 184 3.4.2. The English Reformation: Henry VIII 186

x    Full Contents

3.4.3. The English Reformation: Edward VI to Elizabeth I 189 3.4.4. The Catholic Reformation: The Life of the Church 191 3.4.5. The Catholic Reformation: The Thought of the Church 193 3.4.6. Women and the Reformation 195

3.5. The Post-Reformation Era 197 3.5.1. Confessionalism: The Second Reformation 197 3.5.2. Puritanism in England and North America 199 3.5.3. The King James Bible (1611) 201 3.5.4. Christianity and the Arts 203 3.5.5. Christianity and the Sciences 206 3.5.6. The Wars of Religion 209

4. The Modern Age, c. 1650–1914 214

4.1. The Age of Reason: The Enlightenment 215 4.1.1. The Rise of Indifference towards Religion 215 4.1.2. The Enlightenment and Christianity 217 4.1.3. Christian Beliefs in the “Age of Reason” 220 4.1.4. Pietism and Revival in Germany and England 222 4.1.5. America: The “Great Awakening” 224 4.1.6. The Suppression of the Jesuits, 1759–73 226 4.1.7. The American Revolution of 1776 228 4.1.8. The French Revolution of 1789 230 4.1.9. England: William Wilberforce and the Abolition of Slavery 232

4.2. An Age of Revolution: The Long Nineteenth Century in Europe 235 4.2.1. The Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna 235 4.2.2. Orthodox Resurgence: The Greek War of Independence 238 4.2.3. Atheism and an Ideology of Revolution: Feuerbach and Marx 239 4.2.4. Human Origins: Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) 242 4.2.5. The Victorian Crisis of Faith 245 4.2.6. The Risorgimento: Italian Reunification and the Pope 246 4.2.7. The First Vatican Council: Papal Infallibility 248 4.2.8. German Culture Wars: Bismarck and Catholicism 250 4.2.9. Theological Revisionism: The Challenge of Modernism 252

4.3. The Long Nineteenth Century in America 254 4.3.1. Church and State: The Wall of Separation 255 4.3.2. The Second Great Awakening and American Revivalism 257 4.3.3. European Immigration and Religious Diversification 259 4.3.4. The Emergence of the “Bible Belt” 261 4.3.5. The Civil War: Slavery and Suffering 262 4.3.6. Pentecostalism: The American Origins of a Global Faith 265

4.4. An Age of Mission 267 4.4.1. The Origins of Protestant Missions 268 4.4.2. Missions and Colonialism: The Case of Anglicanism 270 4.4.3. Christian Missions to Asia 273 4.4.4. Christian Missions to Africa 276

Full Contents    xi

4.4.5. Christian Missions to Native Americans 278 4.4.6. The Edinburgh World Missionary Conference, 1910 280

5. The Twentieth Century, 1914 to the Present 285

5.1. Setting the Context: Post-War Turbulence 285 5.1.1. The Armenian Genocide of 1915 287 5.1.2. The Russian Revolution of 1917 288 5.1.3. Post-War Disillusionment: The Theology of Crisis 290 5.1.4. America: The Fundamentalist Controversy 292 5.1.5. Mexico: The Cristero War 295 5.1.6. The Psychological Critique of Religion: Sigmund Freud 296 5.1.7. The German Church Crisis of the 1930s 299 5.1.8. The Spanish Civil War (1936–9) 302

5.2. Shifts in Western Christianity since the Second World War 303 5.2.1. The New World Order: Christianity and the Cold War 304 5.2.2. The World Council of Churches: The New Ecumenism 305 5.2.3. Billy Graham and the “New Evangelicalism” 308 5.2.4. The 1960s: The Origins of a Post-Christian Europe 310 5.2.5. The Second Vatican Council: Reform and Revitalization 312 5.2.6. Reconnecting with Culture: The Rise of Apologetics 315

5.3. The Sixties and Beyond: Western Christianity in an Age of Transition 318 5.3.1. Christianity and the American Civil Rights Movement 318 5.3.2. The Rise of the American “Religious Right” 319 5.3.3. The Erosion of Denominationalism in the United States 321 5.3.4. Faith Renewed: John Paul II and the Collapse of the Soviet Union 324 5.3.5. Challenging the Establishment: Feminism and Liberation

Theology 326 5.3.6. Responding to Cultural Change: New Forms of Churches 329 5.3.7. The Equality Agenda: The Protestant Debate over Women’s

Ordination 331 5.4. The Shift from the West: The New Christianity 334

5.4.1. The Middle East: The Decline of Arab Christianity 335 5.4.2. Korea: The Surprising Transformation of a Nation 336 5.4.3. China: The Resurgence of Christianity in the Middle

Kingdom 338 5.4.4. The Rise of Post-Colonial Christianity: African Initiated

Churches 340 5.4.5. The Rise of Pentecostalism in Latin America 342 5.4.6. Virtual Christianity: The Internet and New Patterns of Faith 344

Where Next? 349 A Glossary of Christian Terms 351 Index 361

Maps and Illustrations


1.1 Paul’s first missionary journey 5 1.2 The Roman Empire under Trajan, c. 117 17


1.1 The Martyrdom of St. Peter, Florence, by P. Brancacci and F. Lippi 8 1.2 Detail of Plato and Aristotle, from The School of Athens, by Raphael 23 1.3 The third-century Catacombs of Calixtus 25 1.4 The Benedictine monastery at Montecassino (or “Monte Cassino”), Italy 34 1.5 Ruins of the historic north African city of Carthage 36 1.6 Constantine I, the Great 41 1.7 The great eastern city of Constantinople 51 2.1 Coronation of the emperor Charlemagne 79 2.2 The Benedictine Abbey of Cluny 86 2.3 The teaching of philosophy at the medieval University of Paris, from

the fourteenth-century French manuscript Great Chronicles of France 96 2.4 St. Francis of Assisi Preaching to the Birds, predella painting from

The Stigmatization of St. Francis, by Giotto di Bondone 101 2.5 Thomas Aquinas 106 2.6 An illuminated medieval biblical manuscript, showing the construction

of the temple of Jerusalem 114 2.7 The medieval papal palace of Avignon 120 2.8 The icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev 124 2.9 Erasmus of Rotterdam 139 2.10 Monument to the Discoveries, Lisbon, Portugal 146

xiv Maps and Illustrations

3.1 Portrait of Leo X 152 3.2 An early modern printer’s workshop 161 3.3 Title page of William Tyndale’s New Testament 166 3.4 Martin Luther 172 3.5 Portrait of John Calvin 181 3.6 Henry VIII 187 3.7 Ignatius of Loyola 193 3.8 Johann Kepler 209 3.9 Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre 210 4.1 Jonathan Edwards 226 4.2 William Wilberforce 234 4.3 Napoleon Bonaparte 236 4.4 Karl Marx 241 4.5 Charles Robert Darwin 244 4.6 Otto Von Bismarck 251 4.7 View of federal soldiers relaxing by the guns of an unidentified

captured fort, Atlanta, Georgia, 1864 264 4.8 World Missionary Conference, Assembly Hall, New College, University

of Edinburgh, 1910 281 5.1 A convoy of horses and wagons pass by the ruins of St. Martin’s

Church and the Cloth Hall of Ypres during the Great War 286 5.2 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin addressing the crowd in Red Square, Moscow 289 5.3 Karl Barth 292 5.4 Sigmund Freud 297 5.5 American evangelist Dr. Billy Graham addressing the congregation

at Earl’s Court, London, June 1966 309 5.6 A session of the Second Vatican Council at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome 313 5.7 C. S. Lewis 317 5.8 Pope John Paul II among a crowd of people, Vatican City, Rome,

June 1, 1979 325 5.9 Crowd leaving Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea, after Sunday

services 338

How to Use This Book

This book is designed to be an accessible, interesting, and reliable introduction to two thousand years of Christian history. It has been written on the assumption that you know little about the history of Christianity, and aims to make studying it as easy as possible. Every technical term and key theological debate is introduced and explained. You should be able to use this book on your own, without needing any help, although it will work best when used as part of a taught course.

It’s not easy to provide a survey of two thousand years of Christian history in such a short book. A lot of thought has been given about how to pack as much useful information as possible into so small a space, and break it down into manageable sections. You will get the most out of this book by bearing five key points in mind:

1. This book is about Christian history, not just church history. 2. The material has been broken down into historical periods which link up with many

college and university courses. 3. The principle of “selective attention” has been used to manage the amount of historical

material presented. 4. The text is grounded in the best recent scholarly literature, which often corrects older

literature on points of detail, and occasionally forces us to see things in quite different ways.

5. This book is deliberately designed as an introduction, and does not aim to be compre­ hensive or detailed.

Each of these points needs a little more explanation. First, this book is about Christian history. It’s not another history of the church, which

tend to be preoccupied with the institutional history of denominations. This book is about the development of Christianity, and its impact on culture. We’ll make sure that we cover all the key themes in church history, but will go beyond these, considering such matters as the interaction of Christianity with the arts, literature, and science. We will consider both

xvi    How to Use This Book

the importance of the Second Vatican Council for the shaping of Catholicism in the late twentieth century, and the importance of C. S. Lewis for more personal approaches to Christianity in the same period.

Second, we need to remember that all division of history into “ages” or “eras” is a little arbitrary. The great Cambridge historian George Macauley Trevelyan (1876–1962) made this point well two generations ago.

Unlike dates, periods are not facts. They are retrospective conceptions that we form about past

events, useful to focus discussion, but very often leading historical thought astray.

Trevelyan’s point is well taken. Furthermore, there is a healthy debate over the points of detail of any attempt to divide history into periods. For example, just when did the Middle Ages begin? Or end? Does it really matter?

Nevertheless, we still need to try and organize the material into workable blocks or sections, rather than rambling aimlessly through the centuries. In practice, there is wide­ spread agreement over the broad division of the history of Christianity for teaching purposes. If you’re using this book alongside a taught course, you ought to be able to work out how to get the most from it very easily. This work divides the history of Christianity into five broad sections, corresponding to courses taught at many colleges, seminaries, and universities.

1. The period of the early church, sometimes still referred to as the “patristic period,” during which the Christian faith began to gain a significant following throughout the Mediterranean world.

2. The “Middle Ages,” a period of Christian history in western Europe which witnessed significant cultural and intellectual development. The movement generally known as the “Renaissance” is included in this period.

3. The age of Reformation in western Europe, which witnessed the birth of Prot­ estantism, and the consolidation of Catholicism, eventually leading to the Wars of Religion.

4. The Modern Age. This chapter looks at the development of Christianity in the eight­ eenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the scope of our discussion is global, we focus particularly on developments in western Europe and North America, culminat­ ing in the outbreak of the Great War of 1914–18.

5. The Twentieth Century. This final chapter looks at the dramatic changes in the shape of global Christianity in the century following the end of the Great War, including discussion of important developments in Africa, South America, and Asia.

Third, you need to appreciate that this work is based on the principle of selective attention. It recognizes that it is impossible to do justice to everything that happened in two thousand years of history. It sets out to try and see beyond a mass of historical detail, and identify broader historical patterns. As a result, this work tries to help you track some of the sig­

How to Use This Book    xvii

nificant changes in Christian history, illustrating these wherever possible with interesting examples or important episodes.

The work thus aims to be representative in its coverage, rather than comprehensive, allow­ ing you to build on the basic structure it provides. Each of its 160 sections is roughly the same length (about 1000 words), designed to be read in ten minutes, and assimilated in twenty.

The object is to help you work out what is really going on, rather than bombarding you with facts. This means that you will get to hear about all the landmarks of Christian history – the major figures and events that everyone (rightly) talks about. And while we’ll explore a few interesting byways off the main tourist routes, the main object of this text­ book is to hit the high points and make sure you’ve seen what everyone expects you to have seen. Once you’ve got a good idea of what’s on the map, you can explore things further in your own time.

Fourth, this book is based on the best recent literature, most of it published within the last two decades. This research often forces correction of material found in older textbooks – sometimes over points of detail, and sometimes over larger issues. Some of the global assertions that were common in older works – such as the “decline of late medieval religion” – have been discarded or radically modified by recent research. This book brings you up to speed, aiming to give you a reliable overview of the present state of scholarship.

Fifth, and finally: this book is an introduction. It’s a sketch map of a fascinating land­ scape. It’s like a tourist guide to a strange country or a new city. It can’t tell you everything about the place – but it will help you find your way around, make sense of what you see and hear, and (hopefully) make you want to explore more on your own. There are lots of excellent more advanced studies that will be well within your reach, once you’ve worked your way through this textbook.

You will get the most out of this book by reading it right the way through in the order in which it is written. Yet each chapter has been designed to stand on its own. This means that you will be able to start your reading anywhere. Each chapter opens by setting the context for the material it contains. It gives you the background material you need to make sense of what follows. Sometimes, you’ll need to go back to an earlier chapter, to refresh your memory over exactly who someone like Augustine of Hippo was (as you’ll discover, he’s an early church writer who is important for the religious history of the Middle Ages and the Reformation period). And we’ll explain terms that you need to know and use – like “patristic.”

That’s all you need to know to get the most out of this book. We’re ready to start.

Alister E. McGrath King’s College London

July 2012

Source of Quotation

p. xvi: G. M. Trevelyan, English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries from Chaucer to Queen Vic-

toria. London: Longman, 1944, 92.

xviii    How to Use This Book

Chidester, David. Christianity: A Global History.

San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000.

Ferguson, Everett. Church History. Grand Rap­

ids, MI: Zondervan, 2005.

*González, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. 2

vols. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2010.


Our website has a team of professional writers who can help you write any of your homework. They will write your papers from scratch. We also have a team of editors just to make sure all papers are of HIGH QUALITY & PLAGIARISM FREE. To make an Order you only need to click Ask A Question and we will direct you to our Order Page at WriteEdu. Then fill Our Order Form with all your assignment instructions. Select your deadline and pay for your paper. You will get it few hours before your set deadline.

Fill in all the assignment paper details that are required in the order form with the standard information being the page count, deadline, academic level and type of paper. It is advisable to have this information at hand so that you can quickly fill in the necessary information needed in the form for the essay writer to be immediately assigned to your writing project. Make payment for the custom essay order to enable us to assign a suitable writer to your order. Payments are made through Paypal on a secured billing page. Finally, sit back and relax.

Do you need an answer to this or any other questions?

Do you need help with this question?

Get assignment help from Paper Writing Website and forget about your problems.

WriteEdu provides custom & cheap essay writing 100% original, plagiarism free essays, assignments & dissertations.

With an exceptional team of professional academic experts in a wide range of subjects, we can guarantee you an unrivaled quality of custom-written papers.

Chat with us today! We are always waiting to answer all your questions.

Click here to Place your Order Now