The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World's Largest Religion

The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World's Largest Religion

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by Rodney Stark
     
 

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Celebrated religious and social historian Rodney Starktraces the extraordinary rise of Christianity through its most pivotal andcontroversial moments to offer fresh perspective on the history of the world’slargest religion. In The Triumph of Christianity, the author of God’sBattalions and The Rise of Christianity gathers and

Overview

Celebrated religious and social historian Rodney Starktraces the extraordinary rise of Christianity through its most pivotal andcontroversial moments to offer fresh perspective on the history of the world’slargest religion. In The Triumph of Christianity, the author of God’sBattalions and The Rise of Christianity gathers and refines decadesof powerful research and discovery into one concentrated, concise, and highlyreadable volume that explores Christianity’s most crucial episodes. The uniqueformat of Triumph of Christianity allows Stark to avoid densechronologies and difficult back stories, bringing readers right to the heart ofChristian history’s most vital controversies and enduring lessons.

Editorial Reviews

World Magazine
“2012 Book of the Year”
Kirkus Reviews
A no-nonsense, defensive account of Christianity's rise in the West. There is much to correct in the historical record, as sociologist Stark (Institute for Studies of Religion/Baylor Univ.; God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, 2009, etc.) makes plain here, repositioning the central role of Christianity in Western development. Once it started to spread among the privileged urban classes and, especially, women, Christianity promised a better life in a typically brutish time. Its appeals to mercy and alleviating misery fell on welcome ears amid squalid ancient cities of the Roman Empire. Early Christians elevated the role of women, denounced infanticide and raised the marriageable age. Early persecution only strengthened Christian intransigence, while the "performance" of martyrs proved utterly convincing in the conversion process. With the conquest of Islam, Stark shows how Christianity was mercilessly decimated in the East, forcing the faithful to seek safe harbor in European lands. In the chapter titled "Europe Responds: The Case for the Crusades," the author debunks previous assertions by Karen Armstrong and other historians that the Crusades were essentially colonizing and exploitative; rather, he writes, they were "fundamentally defensive" in protecting Christian pilgrims and shrines from Muslim attack. Moreover, the Medieval era categorized erroneously by the Enlightenment writers as the "Dark Ages" was a rich, inventive period that spurred capitalism (profits, property rights, modern banking, etc.) and science. It was the Christian Scholastics educated in urban universities and steeped in the Christian theology of logic and reason who invented science long before Copernicus and Galileo. Stark credits European belief in "God as the Intelligent Designer" as their scientific mentor. The author provides a refreshing, unorthodox polishing of Martin Luther and the Spanish Inquisition, while crediting the survival and growth of Christianity to the rich pluralism of America. Take that, warriors of secularism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062098702
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
527,104
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. His thirty books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity, Cities of God, For the Glory of God, Discovering God, and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. Stark received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World's Largest Religion 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh, the author is biased. However, if you can wade past his obvious leanings, the information he has gathered into one volume is indispensable! The text is worth buying for its bibliography alone. While the author phrases everything in biased terms that make him hard to inoffensively quote in a secular environment, you'd be hard put to find a more cohesive and understandable explanation of the historical context with this high a degree of scholasticism. WORTH IGNORING HIS BIAS! Do look up what he references in his sources, too. I've fact checked him repeatedly, and he never claims anything that various secular sources haven't already supported. Stark is, perhaps, a jerk in his writing, but he's a great historian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like all of starks work, thoughtb provoking. And challenges the current myths about christianity and the mythical dark ages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good overview of the religion history. The author is too biased though.