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

Overview

The Untold Story of the Church's First Thousand Years

In this groundbreaking book, renowned religion scholar Philip Jenkins offers a lost history, revealing that for centuries Christianity's center existed to the east of the Roman Empire.

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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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Overview

The Untold Story of the Church's First Thousand Years

In this groundbreaking book, renowned religion scholar Philip Jenkins offers a lost history, revealing that for centuries Christianity's center existed to the east of the Roman Empire.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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 ”
Forbes
“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 ”
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.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061472817
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 315
  • Sales rank: 422,958
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Jenkins, the author of The Lost History of Christianity, Jesus Wars, and The Next Christendom, is a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion. He has published articles and op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post and has been a guest on top national radio shows across the country.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

A Note on Names and -isms ix

1 The End of Global Christianity 1

2 Churches of the East 45

3 Another World 71

4 The Great Tribulation 97

5 The Last Christians 139

6 Ghosts of a Faith 173

7 How Faiths Die 207

8 The Mystery of Survival 227

9 Endings and Beginnings 247

Notes 263

Acknowledgments 299

Index 301

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Early Christian diapora described. Christianity's rise and fall discussed.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Good Book

    Throught that book was well written but would have liked to have more depth in the discussion about patriarchs of the East.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    one of the most fulfilling books I have read on christian history

    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!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    East of Acts & Crypto-Christianity

    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.

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