The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

by Bart D. Ehrman


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The “marvelous” (Reza Aslan, bestselling author of Zealot), New York Times bestselling story of how Christianity became the dominant religion in the West.

How did a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the empire became the official religion of Rome, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries? In The Triumph of Christianity, early Christian historian Bart D. Ehrman weaves the rigorously-researched answer to this question “into a vivid, nuanced, and enormously readable narrative” (Elaine Pagels, National Book Award-winning author of The Gnostic Gospels), showing how a handful of charismatic characters used a brilliant social strategy and an irresistible message to win over hearts and minds one at a time.

This “humane, thoughtful and intelligent” book (The New York Times Book Review) upends the way we think about the single most important cultural transformation our world has ever seen—one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501136719
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 203,210
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Bart D. Ehrman is a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity, and the author or editor of more than thirty books, including the New York Times bestsellers Misquoting Jesus, How Jesus Became God, and The Triumph of Christianity. A Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he has created eight popular audio and video courses for The Great Courses. He has been featured in Time, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on NBC, CNN, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, BBC, and NPR. His most recent book is Heaven and Hell.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Time Line xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Beginning of the End: The Conversion of Constantine 13

Chapter 2 Back to the Beginning: The Conversion and Mission of Paul 39

Chapter 3 The Religious World of Conversion: Roman Paganism 74

Chapter 4 Reasons for the Christian Success 105

Chapter 5 Miraculous Incentives for Conversion 131

Chapter 6 The Growth of the Church 160

Chapter 7 Christians Under Assault: Persecution, Martyrdom, and Self-Defense 178

Chapter 8 The First Christian Emperor 217

Chapter 9 Conversion and Coercion: The Beginnings of a Christian Empire 243

Afterword Gains and Losses 279

Appendix 287

Notes 295

Index 323

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