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The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died
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The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died

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by John Philip Jenkins
 

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“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.”
 —Forbes magazine

Overview

“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.

Editorial Reviews

Lamin Sanneh
“Philip Jenkins’ book is a tour de force in historical retrieval and reconstruction, a work of scholarly restoration that strikes an overdue balance in the story of Christianity. It is studded with insight, with the story presented in a lively and lucid style.”
Rodney Stark
“Philip Jenkins always writes well on very interesting topics. This time his topic is more than interesting-it is essential reading for anyone with any interest in the history of Christianity.”
Diarmaid MacCulloch
“...an exceptionally fine study of a great swathe of Christian history, hugely important in the Christian story but very little known. This thoughtful, elegant and learned survey will remedy the neglect of a subject which students of religion absolutely need to know about.”
Harvey Cox
“In this highly readable and sobering exploration of how religions - including our own - grow, falter and sometimes die, Jenkins adds a unique dimension to present day religious studies in a voice and style that non-specialists can also appreciate.”
America
“Using his skill to discredit murky thinking and propose new understandings where the old no longer serve a good purpose, Jenkins offers yet another jewel in what is becoming a crown of paradigm-shattering studies. [This book] will amply reward your investment of time and attention.”
Books & Culture
“[Jenkins’] depiction of the long Christian history of Asia, Mesopotamia, and the greater Middle East is both a much-needed education and a spiritually fruitful provocation.”
Beliefnet.com (One of the Best Religious Books of 2008)
“The Lost History of Christianity is a fascinating study of the first thousand-plus years of the Church--a Church rooted in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. We have much to learn from the tale of its reach, its particular way of being Christian, and its eventual decomposition ”
Booklist
“In leaner, clearer prose than ever before, Jenkins outlines and analyzes this history, which few present-day Christians have even heard of. This may be the most eye-opening history book of the year.”
The Weekly Standard
“Philip Jenkins’s marvelous new book...tells the largely forgotten story of Nisibis, and thousands of sites like it, which stretch from Morocco to Kenya to India to China, and which were, deep into the second millennium, the heart of the church.”
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
“Jenkins’s well-crafted new volume...is not only a welcome addition to the literature on Christianity as a truly global religion, to which he has already made substantial contributions, but also an invitation to retrieve a forgotten chapter of history that has not inconsiderable relevance to current events.”
Forbes
“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.”
Beliefnet Editors
“The Lost History of Christianity is a fascinating study of the first thousand-plus years of the Church--a Church rooted in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. We have much to learn from the tale of its reach, its particular way of being Christian, and its eventual decomposition ”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061472817
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/03/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
315
Sales rank:
181,892
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

What People are Saying About This

Lamin Sanneh
“Philip Jenkins’ book is a tour de force in historical retrieval and reconstruction, a work of scholarly restoration that strikes an overdue balance in the story of Christianity. It is studded with insight, with the story presented in a lively and lucid style.”
Rodney Stark
“Philip Jenkins always writes well on very interesting topics. This time his topic is more than interesting-it is essential reading for anyone with any interest in the history of Christianity.”
Diarmaid MacCulloch
“...an exceptionally fine study of a great swathe of Christian history, hugely important in the Christian story but very little known. This thoughtful, elegant and learned survey will remedy the neglect of a subject which students of religion absolutely need to know about.”
Harvey Cox
“In this highly readable and sobering exploration of how religions - including our own - grow, falter and sometimes die, Jenkins adds a unique dimension to present day religious studies in a voice and style that non-specialists can also appreciate.”

Meet the Author

Philip Jenkins is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Religious Studies at Penn State. His book The Next Christendom was named one of the top religion books of 2002.

Reader of over 400 audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of "Golden Voices."

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The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be an enlightening book for those interested in early Christian history, especially of Christian communities that spread East rather than West into Europe. The history of divisions within the early Christian movement, their respective influence on geographical regions and other religious traditions, the historical influences and events leading to the near destruction of the largest Christian communities, and how understanding this ebb and flow of religious fervor and conviction can be seen to be operating in modern Christianity's ebb and flow worldwide are well discussed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this thought provoking book on the disappearance of Christianity in certain parts of the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world is a wonderful read. The author fills in Christian history that is missing from Church history books (at least the one that I studied in seminary) and makes one think about God's timing in the course of history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throught that book was well written but would have liked to have more depth in the discussion about patriarchs of the East.
steve55MO More than 1 year ago
What a surprise this book was--I expected difficult intellectual boring book and got the most rewarding surprise. It is easy to read but totally scholastic and documented. I learned so many things and was reminded of many I had forgotten. It is a must-read for any christian who thinks they know something about our history. And it is so very relevent to our frustration with muslim/islam relations in the middle east and now almost every country worldwide. I am inspired and excited to have visited so many places referred to --I just wish I had read the book first. I leave for Syria and Turkey in afew weeks and feel like this book has prepared me better than the two guide books I have read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since the NT Book of Acts focuses on the expansion of the Gospel into the Mediterranean and Europe few know about the spread of Christianity into Africa, Asia and the East. Jenkins also uses a term i've never heard before, "Crypto-Christianity" which reveals how some Christian minorities still survive after millennia of persecution.