“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.” —Forbes magazine The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins offers a revolutionary view of the history of the Christian church. Subtitled “The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died,” it explores the extinction of the earliest, most influential Christian churches of China, India, and the Middle East, which held the closest historical links to Jesus and were the dominant expression of Christianity throughout its first millennium. The remarkable true story of the demise of the institution that shaped both Asia and Christianity as we know them today, The Lost History of Christianity is a controversial and important work of religious scholarship that sounds a warning that must be heeded.
In this groundbreaking book, renowned religion scholar Philip Jenkins offers a lost history, revealing that, for centuries, Christianity's center was actually in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, with significant communities extending as far as China. The Lost History of Christianity unveils a vast and forgotten network of the world's largest and most influential Christian churches that existed to the east of the Roman Empire. These churches and their leaders ruled the Middle East for centuries and became the chief administrators and academics in the new Muslim empire. The author recounts the shocking history of how these churches—those that had the closest link to Jesus and the early church—died. Jenkins takes a stand against current scholars who assert that variant, alternative Christianities disappeared in the fourth and fifth centuries on the heels of a newly formed hierarchy under Constantine, intent on crushing unorthodox views. In reality, Jenkins says, the largest churches in the world were the “heretics” who lost the orthodoxy battles. These so-called heretics were in fact the most influential Christian groups throughout Asia, and their influence lasted an additional one thousand years beyond their supposed demise. Jenkins offers a new lens through which to view our world today, including the current conflicts in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Without this lost history, we lack an important element for understanding our collective religious past. By understanding the forgotten catastrophe that befell Christianity, we can appreciate the surprising new births that are occurring in our own time, once again making Christianity a true world religion.
Leading religion scholar Jenkins reveals a vast Christian world to the east of the Roman Empire and explains how the earliest, most influential churches of the East--China, India, the Middle East, and Africa--died.
Amid so much twenty-first-century talk of a "Christian-Muslim divide"--and the attendant controversy in some Western countries over policies toward minority Muslim communities--a historical fact has gone unnoticed: for more than four hundred years beginning in the mid-seventh century, some 50 percent of the world's Christians lived and worshipped under Muslim rule. Just who were the Christians in the Arabic-speaking milieu of Mohammed and the Qur'an? The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque is the first book-length discussion in English of the cultural and intellectual life of such Christians indigenous to the Islamic world. Sidney Griffith offers an engaging overview of their initial reactions to the religious challenges they faced, the development of a new mode of presenting Christian doctrine as liturgical texts in their own languages gave way to Arabic, the Christian role in the philosophical life of early Baghdad, and the maturing of distinctive Oriental Christian denominations in this context. Offering a fuller understanding of the rise of Islam in its early years from the perspective of contemporary non-Muslims, this book reminds us that there is much to learn from the works of people who seriously engaged Muslims in their own world so long ago. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Clouds of Witnesses
Author: Mark A. Noll, Carolyn Nystrom
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
As Africa and Asia take their place as the new Christian heartlands, a new and robust company of saints is coming into view. In seventeen inspiring narratives Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom introduce pivotal Christian leaders in Africa and Asia who had tenacious faith in the midst of deprivation, suffering and conflict. Spanning a century, from the 1880s to the 1980s, their stories demonstrate the vitality of the Christian faith in a diversity of contexts. This kaleidoscopic witness to the power of the gospel will both inspire and educate. Whether for a class in global Christianity or for a personal journey to other times and places of faith, Clouds of Witnesses is a book that tugs at our curiosity and resists being laid down. An engaging traveling companion to Mark Noll's award-winning book The New Shape of World Christianity.
What does the future hold for European Christianity? Is the Christian church doomed to collapse under the weight of globalization, Western secularism, and a flood of Muslim immigrants? Is Europe, in short, on the brink of becoming "Eurabia"? Though many pundits are loudly predicting just such a scenario, Philip Jenkins reveals the flaws in these arguments in God's Continent and offers a much more measured assessment of Europe's religious future. While frankly acknowledging current tensions, Jenkins shows, for instance, that the overheated rhetoric about a Muslim-dominated Europe is based on politically convenient myths: that Europe is being imperiled by floods of Muslim immigrants, exploding Muslim birth-rates, and the demise of European Christianity. He points out that by no means are Muslims the only new immigrants in Europe. Christians from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe are also pouring into the Western countries, and bringing with them a vibrant and enthusiastic faith that is helping to transform the face of European Christianity. Jenkins agrees that both Christianity and Islam face real difficulties in surviving within Europe's secular culture. But instead of fading away, both have adapted, and are adapting. Yes, the churches are in decline, but there are also clear indications that Christian loyalty and devotion survive, even as institutions crumble. Jenkins sees encouraging signs of continuing Christian devotion in Europe, especially in pilgrimages that attract millions--more in fact than in bygone "ages of faith." The third book in an acclaimed trilogy that includes The Next Christendom and The New Faces of Christianity, God's Continent offers a realistic and historically grounded appraisal of the future of Christianity in a rapidly changing Europe.
Author: Thomas Arthur Russell
Comparative Christianity: A Student's Guide to a Religion and its Diverse Traditions explores what Christians have in common and then works through the three major subdivisions of the faith: Eastern, Roman, and Protestant. Using categories common to many definitions of religion, each chapter employs the categories of belief, individual and group moral codes, ceremonies, and associations. The book is a good choice for a textbook on Christianity, for the general reader and/or the follower of other religious traditions who want to learn about the Christian faith. By reading this book, readers will have a fuller knowledge of what Christians, whatever tradition, have in common and what distinguishes one Christian group from another. Comparative Christianity is different than other similar books on the market. It includes groups normally ignored, such as the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and Mormon groups beyond the scope of the Salt Lake City Latter-day Saints community (including the recent Texas group at the center of a polygamy controversy). Also, Comparative Christianity includes a review quiz at the end of each chapter so that readers can see how much knowledge they have acquired. These quizzes may also be used by professors if the text is used in a course.
We are often told that early Christianity comprised a vast multitude of strange sects, and that this diversity was wiped out in the fourth century when the Church canonized the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But how, then, can we explain that the scene of the baby Jesus in the mangerthe central image of the Christmas storyshows the influence of the Protevangelium,” or that our belief that the Serpent in Eden is Satan comes from another so-called Lost Gospel? In [Title TK], Philip Jenkins offers a revelatory new history of Christianity, showing that hundreds of these supposedly lost alternate gospels were never suppressed by the early Church, but instead remained widely influential until the Reformationand continue to play major roles in Christian belief to this day. An authoritative account of the formation of the biblical canon and the evolution of modern faith,[Title TK] restores the Lost Gospels” to their proper place in history and in belief.
Author: John Philip Jenkins
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Fifth-Century Political Battles That Forever Changed the Church In this fascinating account of the surprisingly violent fifth-century church, PhilipJenkins describes how political maneuvers by a handful of powerful charactersshaped Christian doctrine. Were it not for these battles, today’s church could beteaching something very different about the nature of Jesus, and the papacy as weknow it would never have come into existence. Jesus Wars reveals the profoundimplications of what amounts to an accident of history: that one faction ofRoman emperors and militia-wielding bishops defeated another.
Early Christian Fathers
Author: Cyril Richardson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
This selection of writings from early church leaders includes work by Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, and Justin Martyr.Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works--each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century--contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.
Thomas C. Oden surveys the decisive role of African Christians and theologians in shaping the doctrines and practices of the church of the first five centuries, and makes an impassioned plea for the rediscovery of that heritage. Christians throughout the world will benefit from this reclaiming of an important heritage.
The Great and Holy War
Author: Philip Jenkins
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Great and Holy War offers the first look at how religion created and prolonged the First World War. At the one-hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the war, historian Philip Jenkins reveals the powerful religious dimensions of this modern-day crusade, a period that marked a traumatic crisis for Western civilization, with effects that echoed throughout the rest of the twentieth century. The war was fought by the world's leading Christian nations, who presented the conflict as a holy war. Thanks to the emergence of modern media, a steady stream of patriotic and militaristic rhetoric was given to an unprecedented audience, using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon. But this rhetoric was not mere state propaganda. Jenkins reveals how the widespread belief in angels and apparitions, visions and the supernatural was a driving force throughout the war and shaped all three of the major religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam—paving the way for modern views of religion and violence. The disappointed hopes and moral compromises that followed the war also shaped the political climate of the rest of the century, giving rise to such phenomena as Nazism, totalitarianism, and communism. Connecting numerous remarkable incidents and characters—from Karl Barth to Carl Jung, the Christmas Truce to the Armenian Genocide—Jenkins creates a powerful and persuasive narrative that brings together global politics, history, and spiritual crisis as never before and shows how religion informed and motivated circumstances on all sides of the war.
With more than 315,000 copies sold, this is the story of the church for today’s readers. The fourth edition of Shelley’s classic one-volume history of the church brings the story of Christianity into the twenty-first century. This latest edition of the book takes a close look at the rapid growth of evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity in the southern hemisphere, addresses the decline in traditional mainline denominations, examines the influence of technology on the spread of the gospel, and discusses how Christianity intersects with other religions in countries all over the world. This concise book provides an easy-to-read guide to church history with intellectual substance. The new edition of Church History in Plain Language promises to be the new standard for readable church history. Features include: Includes contemporary developments related to the spread of the gospel Discusses how technology has an impact on how the church worships and grows Covers the explosion of Christianity in the southern hemisphere
Prayers from the East
Author: Richard Marsh
Publisher: Fortress Press
This anthology offers new insight into an ancient form of Christianity still little understood in the West. An introduction to the rich diversity of the Eastern Orthodox Churches--Egyptian Copts, Armenians, Syrians, Indian Malankara, Ethiopian and Eritrean--through their distinctive tradition of prayer and worship. It provides both a survey of the history and theology of the Eastern Orthodox traditions as well as an anthology of prayers. The collection highlights the distinctiveness of Eastern Christian spirituality along with its connections to Western theology and worship.