Interpreting Christian History / Edition 1

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Overview

This book explores the theological lessons to be learnt from 2000 years of Christian Church history.

  • An exploration of the theological lessons to be learnt from the difficult history of the Christian churches over the past 2,000 years
  • Opens with an introductory essay on the whole of Church history, making the book suitable for lay readers as well as students
  • Combines historical, historiographical and theological analysis
  • Reunites the disciplines of theology and Church history
  • Concludes that we can only ever perceive a facet of Christianity given our historical and cultural conditioning
  • Written by a distinguished Church historian.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an excellent summary of Christian history from theapostolic period to the current day and is written in an engagingway. It will be profitably used by scholars and students in allChristian traditions and is a helpful text not only forintroductory seminary church history or historical theologycourses, but also for historiography in university graduatecourses."
History and Sociology of Religion

"Expert historians are not always as good at self-reflecting ontheir craft at practicing that craft. Euan Cameron, however, is anexemption as shown by his careful assessment of what the historiansof this and previous generations have both taken for granted andspelled out explicitly in writing the history of Christianity. Asone might expect from a distinguished student of the sixteenthcentury, Interpreting Christian History is particularly goodon what the rise of Protestantism meant for understanding theChristian past." Mark Noll, Wheaton College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631215226
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/5/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 7.87 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Euan Cameron is Academic Dean and Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York; and Professor in the Department of Religion of Columbia University. He was previously Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. His recent publications include The European Reformation (1991), Early Modern Europe (1999), and Waldenses (Blackwell, 2000).

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Table of Contents

Preface.

Introduction.

Diversities of Belief, Practice, and Priorities.

History and Diversity.

Steering Between Two Extremes.

The Compass and Structure of the Book.

History and Theory.

1 The Unfolding of Christian History: a Sketch.

Christianity: a Jewish Heresy Spreads Across the EasternEmpire.

Greek and Latin, East and West.

Persecution, Legal Establishment, Empowerment, and Retreat.

The Eastern Church, the Spread of Islam, and ExpansionNorthwards.

The Western Church of Late Antiquity and the Early MiddleAges.

Disputes over Control, and the Rise of a Continental Church.

The High Medieval Synthesis.

Later Middle Ages: the Era of Fragmentation.

Challenges and Ruptures: Renaissance and Reformation.

The Age of Competing Orthodoxies.

Challenges to Orthodoxy: Reason, Enlightenment, andRevolution.

The Era of Romanticism and its Implications.

The Multiple Crises of the Twentieth Century.

Reflecting on the Process of Historical Development.

2 Constantly Shifting Emphases in Christian History.

Means to Holiness Become Ultimate Goals.

Asceticism: Giving Things Up for God.

Expecting Miracles.

Martyrdom.

Sacrament and Sacrifice: the Eucharistic Church.

The Company of Heaven: the Communion of Saints.

Purity of Doctrine and Instruction: the School of Faith.

The Christian Community and its Membership.

Reflections on Shifting Priorities.

3 Church Historians’ Responses to Change andDiversity.

The Early Church: Eusebius of Caesarea.

Early Medieval Church History: Bede.

The High Middle Ages: A Monastic Chronicle.

Renaissance Historiography: Rhetoric and Skepticism.

The Reformation and the Rise of a Sense of History.

The Rise of Reformed Schools of Church History.

Confessional Histories in the Age of Orthodoxy.

Writing Christian History in the Shadow of theEnlightenment.

Toward “Modern” Histories of Christianity.

Postmodern and Liberation-oriented Approaches to ChristianHistory.

Summary and Conclusions.

4 Some Theologians Reflect on the Historical Problem.

The Historical Background to Historical-critical Theology.

The Challenge of Ludwig Feuerbach to “Modernizing”Theology.

German Liberal Protestant Theology of the Nineteenth andTwentieth Century.

Responses to Liberalism in the Twentieth Century.

Thomism, Mysticism, and Neo-liberalism: Some Roman CatholicResponses.

Cultural Diversity, Liberation, Postliberalism, andPostmodernity.

Drawing the Threads Together.

Conclusion.

Notes.

Index

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