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
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- Author : Kevin W. Kaatz
- Publisher : ABC-CLIO
- Release Date : 2015-12-07
- Genre : Religion
- Pages : 212
- ISBN : 9781610698085
An outstanding resource for high school readers and first-year college students, this book explores early Christianity from its beginnings in the first century through the fourth century when Christianity went from a persecuted faith to the only legalized faith in the Roman Empire. • Provides readers with a broad understanding of early Christianity from the time of Jesus to the fall of Rome and an appreciation for how early Christian communities spread throughout the Empire • Examines a number of key topics that relate to the varied communities that made up early Christianity • Provides readers with multiple primary documents in order to better understand early Christianity and offer opportunities to apply their critical thinking skills • Supports NCHS World History content standards for Era 3, Standard 3B
Discusses the rise of Christianity including the Christian revolution, its Jewish roots, Jesus, Constantine's revolution, and the Christianization of Europe.
- Author : Jan N. Bremmer
- Publisher : Barkhuis
- Release Date : 2010
- Genre : Religion
- Pages : 86
- ISBN : 9789077922705
The rise of Christianity up to the victory of Constantine has often been studied and remains a puzzling phenomenon. In this valedictory lecture Jan N. Bremmer concentrates on the explanations adduced, focusing in particular on the works of three iconic figures from the last two hundred and fifty years: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire of Edward Gibbon, the most famous ancient historian of all time, at the end of the eighteenth century; Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums of Adolf von Harnack, the greatest historian of early Christianity of all time, around 1900, and The Rise of Christianity of Rodney Stark, the most adventurous sociologist of religion of our times, at the end of the twentieth century.Bremmer locates their concerns and explanations within their own times, but also takes them seriously as scholars, discussing their analyses and approaches. In this way he shows both the continuities and the innovations in the evolving view which scholarship presents of early Christianity. Bremmer's exceptional knowledge of the huge range of scholarship and his humane and balanced judgment make this lecture the ideal introduction to the many problems raised by Christianity's displacement of paganism
An introduction to the history of early Christianity, this reference provides roughly 60 primary source documents from the first five centuries of the Christian Era, each accompanied by explanatory material. • Offers a guide that helps readers to understand how to study primary documents critically • Provides an introduction of the history of the early Christian Church • Highlights a timeline of key events in the early history of Christianity • Features sections on the first five centuries of the Christian Era that encompass primary source documents, accompanied by headnotes and suggestions for further reading
This series is designed to study problems in preference to periods. Each volume will contain sections dealing with historiography, documents, and a consideration of the wider issues, although the balance between the three will vary in each case. This approach encourages the student to deal in his own way with the problems raised by historical documents and the historiography of the issues in question and he is made aware of the wider perspectives of history.
THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY. FOREWORD TO THE THIRD IMPRESSION: IN the second impression of this book a few misprints and mistakes were corrected. But few specific errors had been mentioned even in hostile reviews. A number of these criticized the bibliography as partial to antiquated authors and ideas. My critics failed to notice that the brief list of books cited is for readers, knowing only English, who may wish to extend their knowledge of the subject and, most probably, to contrast my conclusions with an earlier type of apologetic. I make no refer ence to authorities whose works are only available in French or German, nor do I mention recent English linguistic enquiries which I find unconvincing. Some analytical work produced on the Continent during the last fifteen years seems to me both more sound in its judgment and more free from inhibitions than that which has gained esteem in England. Complaint has been made that readers can hardly find in the book such words as Trinity, Incarnation, and supernatural. None of these words occurs in the New Testament, and they belong to theology rather than to history. The postulate of the finite-scale uniformity of nature has been assailed by a number of theologians but, so far as I have ob served, by no competent man of science. The theologians have written with a conviction which is not always according to knowledge. E. W. B.Contents include: CHAPTER I THE REMOTE BACKGROUND OF CHRISTIANITY PAGE 1. The beginning of man ...... i 2. Palaeolithic man ....... i 3. Neolithic man 2 4. The Bronze Age 3 5. Early burials ........ 4 6. The Sumerians ....... 4 7-Egypt 5 8. Progress and decay Egypt and Babylonia . . 6 9. The religions of Mesopotamia andEgypt 6 10. Egyptian religion ....... 7 1 1 . Sumerian-Semitic religion ..... 8 12. Akhenaten ........ 9 13. - Syria in the time of Moses . . . . .10 14. Early Hebrew history 11 15. Moses and the Hebrew invasion of Palestine . . 11 1 6. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah . ., .12 17. Assyria
- Author : Leif E. Vaage
- Publisher : Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
- Release Date : 2006-04-21
- Genre : Religion
- Pages : 344
- ISBN : 9780889205369
Religious Rivalries in the Early Roman Empire and the Rise of Christianity discusses the diverse cultural destinies of early Christianity, early Judaism, and other ancient religious groups as a question of social rivalry. The book is divided into three main sections. The first section debates the degree to which the category of rivalry adequately names the issue(s) that must be addressed when comparing and contrasting the social “success” of different religious groups in antiquity. The second is a critical assessment of the common modern category of “mission” to describe the inner dynamic of such a process; it discusses the early Christian apostle Paul, the early Jewish historian Josephus, and ancient Mithraism. The third section of the book is devoted to “the rise of Christianity,” primarily in response to the similarly titled work of the American sociologist of religion Rodney Stark. While it is not clear that any of these groups imagined its own success necessarily entailing the elimination of others, it does seem that early Christianity had certain habits, both of speech and practice, which made it particularly apt to succeed (in) the Roman Empire.
Paul Barnett not only places the New Testament within the world of caesars and Herods, proconsuls and Pharisees, Sadducee and revolutionaries, but argues that the mainspring and driving force of early Christian history is the historical Jesus.
Within the context of Religion and Christianity, this book examines in context the number one historical figure of all-time. This book encompasses all you need to know about Jesus' life and teachings beginning with his birth and ending with his ascension.
"In "Health Care and the Rise of Christianity" Avalos helpfully turns our attention to the care of bodies as fundamental to the growth and expansion of early Christianity. Response to basic issues" such as cost, access to care, and perceived efficacy" helped to fashion an early Christian system of health care that was distinct from contemporary approaches. Avalos raises eminently relevant questions about the role of ideas and practices of health care in the attractiveness of new religious movements, both historically and today." " Nancy L. Eiesland, Candler School of Theology, Emory University "Professor Avalos brings his considerable expertise in medical anthropology to the study of health care systems in the ancient cultures out of which Christianity arose. His analysis of the role played by health care in the advent of Christianity is carefully constructed through cross-cultural and interdisciplinary methodologies, and presented in a readable format which makes his results easily accessible to the specialist and layperson alike. This book is a must for anyone interested in the topic, or concerned about the ethical and long term implications of a modern health system care in crisis." " Carole R. Fontaine, Andover Newton Theological School
To the second edition-which will certainly be called for-of his translation of Kalthoff's "Rise of Christianity," Mr. McCabe should add a page of introduction. Here and there the author appears to assume that his readers are acquainted with certain communistic ideas which he has expressed in previous works; and as one of the leading ideas of the present work is that the Christian Church is and has always been in principle a communistic body, a hint or two as to the author's special standpoint, as disclosed in his previous works, would be welcome to the average English reader. The author approaches his subject from the sociological point of view, and consequently sees no need for a personal founder of Christianity. Such a founder "ceases to be necessary for understanding Christianity in proportion as we recognise in it a great historical development of the whole spiritual life-the social and economic, religious and moral, artistic and scientific life-of the race." The single individual as founder comes under consideration only "in so far as the active forces of his age are embodied in him," and historical science still has "the task of gathering the ideas of the master from the context of his age." In three interesting chapters, the author studies the preparation for Christianity in the Roman Empire, in Greek philosophy, and in Judaism. He finds much of the social and political atmosphere of the Synoptical Gospels rather in Rome than in Jerusalem-for example, the tax-gatherers, the debtor who lies in jail until he pays the last farthing, the higher slave set over others by his master, etc. As to Greek philosophy, it was this that developed the theological and ethical consequences of monotheism, and thus "led directly to the dogmatic and ethic of the Church." "The platonic duplication of the World makes it needful to find some mediator between the supramundane God and the material world." Moreover, the Stoic philosophy re-appears in the Christian system. Zeno contempl
What is the state of Christianity in China, really? Some scholars say that China is invulnerable to religion. Some say that past efforts of missionaries have failed, writing off those who were converted as nothing more than “rice Christians,” or cynical souls who had frequented the missions for the benefits they provided. Some wonder if the Cultural Revolution extinguished any chances of Christianity in China. Rodney Stark and Xiuhua Wang offer a different perspective, arguing that Christianity is alive, well, and even on the rise. Stark approaches the topic from an extensive research background in both Christianity and Chinese history, and Wang provides an inside look at Christianity and its place in her home country of China. Both authors cover the history of religion in China, disproving older theories concerning not only the number of Christians, but the kinds of Christians that have emerged in the past 155 years. Stark and Wang claim that when just considering the visible Christians, those not part of underground churches, there are still thousands of Chinese being converted to Christianity each day, and forty new churches opening each week. A Star in the East draws on two major national surveys to sketch a close-up of religion in China. A reliable estimate is that by 2007 there were approximately 60 million Christians in China. If the current rate of growth were to hold until 2030, there would be more Christians in China—about 295 million—than in any other nation on earth. This has significant implications, not just for China but for the greater world order. It is probable that Chinese Christianity will splinter into denominations, likely leading to the same kinds of political, social, and economic ramifications seen in the West today. Whether you’re new to studying Christianity in China, or whether this has been your area of interest for years, A Star in the East provides a reliable, thought-provoking, and engaging account of the resilience of the C
Traces the early history of the Christian church from Jewish Palestine prior to Christ's birth to the sixth century monastic movement, and explains how Christianity survived under a variety of cultures
The history of the rise and early progress of Christianity comprising an enquiry into its true character and design
- Author : Samuel HINDS (Bishop of Norwich.)
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1846
- Genre : Uncategorized
- Pages : 231
- ISBN : BL:A0019181698
Click below to watch Heikki Räisänen discuss The Rise of Christian Beliefs Find more videos like this on Fortress Forum Read Fortress Press's interview with Heikki Räisänen! Heikki Räisänen offers a historical survey of the "roots and first growth" of the thoughts, values, and practices of the early Christians and explains the evolution of Christian belief in terms of vital adaptations to specific challenges. An ideal textbook for university introductory courses on the New Testament and Early Christianity, The Rise of Christian Beliefs offers chapters discussing "paradigmatic events" -the life and death of Jesus and experiences of Easter, principal figures and groups, last things and afterlife, savior figures and the human condition, ethnicity, identity, and morality, and ritual community life.
The beginnings of any historical movement are bound to be mysterious. So it is with Christianity, and so it is with Christian art. Into the ordered world of late classicism came the arresting voice and disturbing gaze of men "heavy with conscience" for whom art was only a medium for higher truth. André Grabar traces the emergence of this art from its pagan background and shows the social and spiritual forces that governed its growth. "Early Christian Art" covers a vast area (from Spain to Syria) and a vast theme (since content and meaning are inseparable from expression). Chapters are devoted to painting and sculpture during the persecutions, to the great Roman basilicas and Old St. Peter's, to the mosaics of Saint Costanza and to the haunting and still too little known sarcophaguses of the 4th century. The book also includes a section of ancient texts relating to art, a chronological table and a glossary-index, and the whole work is the fruition of a great scholar's life-work. -- From publisher's description.
In Gilded Age America, rampant inequality gave rise to a new form of Christianity, one that sought to ease the sufferings of the poor not simply by saving their souls, but by transforming society. In Union Made, Heath W. Carter advances a bold new interpretation of the origins of American Social Christianity. While historians have often attributed the rise of the Social Gospel to middle-class ministers, seminary professors, and social reformers, this book places working people at the very center of the story. The major characters--blacksmiths, glove makers, teamsters, printers, and the like--have been mostly forgotten, but as Carter convincingly argues, their collective contribution to American Social Christianity was no less significant than that of Walter Rauschenbusch or Jane Addams. Leading readers into the thick of late-19th-century Chicago's tumultuous history, Carter shows that countless working-class believers participated in the heated debates over the implications of Christianity for industrializing society, often with as much fervor as they did in other contests over wages and the length of the workday. The city's trade unionists, socialists, and anarchists advanced theological critiques of laissez faire capitalism and protested "scab ministers" who cozied up to the business elite. Their criticisms compounded church leaders' anxieties about losing the poor, such that by the turn-of-the-century many leading Christians were arguing that the only way to salvage hopes of a Christian America was for the churches to soften their position on "the labor question." As denomination after denomination did just that, it became apparent that the Social Gospel was, indeed, ascendant--from below. At a time when the fate of the labor movement and rising economic inequality are once more pressing social concerns, Union Made opens the door for a new way forward--by changing the way we think about the past.