When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome / Edition 1

When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome / Edition 1

by Richard E. Rubenstein, Michelle Brook
4.5 12
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome / Edition 1

A thoroughly researched and vivid re-creation of one of the most critical periods in the history of Western religion

The life of Jesus, and the subsequent persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, have come to define what many of us know about early Christianity. The fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was forming, however, is a story that is rarely told. Richard E. Rubenstein takes readers to the streets of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where a divisive argument over the divinity of Jesus Christ was underway. Ruled by a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer feared for the survival of their monotheistic faith, but they found themselves in different camps—led by two charismatic men—on the topic of Christian theology. Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, preached that Jesus, though holy, is less than God, while Athanasius, a brilliant and violent bishop, saw any diminution of Jesus' godhead as the work of the devil. Between them stood Alexander, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, in search of a solution that would keep the empire united and the Christian faith alive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156013154
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 07/10/2000
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 266,638
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

1.An Incident in Alexandria1
2.The Silence of Apollo22
3.A Quarrel in God's House48
4.The Great and Holy Council68
5.Sins of the Body, Passions of the Mind89
6.The Broken Chalice108
7.Death in Constantinople126
8.East against West148
9.The Arian Empire169
10.Old Gods and New192
11.When Jesus Became God211
Principal Characters233
Select Bibliography of Works in English237

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When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One would not have expected a book on early Christian doctrinal controversies by a professor of contemporary conflict resolution to have in the few short years since it was published become almost a bestseller and standard work. One reason for this is the objectivity that an academic outside the normal inner circle of writers on patristics brings to bear on the subject - coupled with the added objectivity that a Jewish (and one suspects agnostic) writer has in treating a controversy that is still live among Christians today. However I feel the real reason for this book's success is in the quality of the writing. Without 'dumbing down' Rubenstein has managed to communicate a substantial amount of information and argument in a compelling, almost novel-like journalistic narrative. This ability to communicate complex ideas and events is where the book really earns its five stars. A third reason why this book has struck a cord is that it fills a void in terms of human treatment of the Arian-Athanasian controversy. Classic historians of dogma such as Harnack concentrate on the ideas to the exclusion of the personalities - which has its place, but not to the point where key events such as Athanasius' murder of Arius by poisoning are ignored (as in some histories of doctrine). Not here - Rubenstein treats the doctrinal battles through the people who fought them. The book naturally does not cover the pagan background (J. G. Griffiths), nor much in the way of source material (W.G. Rusch), nor a scriptural critique of the Trinity (J.H. Broughton or A.F. Buzzard) but what it does cover is done excellently.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here's an interesting take on early Christian church history by a Jewish scholar who is curious about this guy Jesus. Most Christians who ritually speak the creeds of the church probably have no idea about the origin of the words they're uttering. The time frame is the 4th century of the Common Era. The battles, both verbal and physical, then surrounding the choice of words and their meaning is fascinating to follow. Jesus as a great personage in the history of religion is an easily accepted interpretation by Jews and Muslims. The struggles that ended with Jesus being seen as more godlike than human, is worth exploring. This book takes a reader on that journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To agree to disagree did not exist or was not even contaplated, a very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Godly parent is demeter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NAME: Grace Hawthorn AGE: 13 GODLY PARENT: Athena WEAPONS: a bow and arrows, twin daggers, my wit LOOKS/CLOTHING: plain black tshirt, jeans, a form fitting northface jacket, laceup black boots, my quiver and a belt with my daggers. I am 5'2", with long blond hair in a high ponytail, and bluegreen eyes. PERSONALITY: I am super smart and not afraid to show my wit and knowledge. I am very protective of my friends because they are my family. I can get a bit bossy at times but will always stay true to myself. I am often the negotiator and am kind and friendly. I get along with practially everyone. I will get offended if somone stereotypes me for being a blond girl, I am not afraid to slap them. Overall I am courageous, smart, loyal, and kind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good idea would be to Reply once and awhile to your readers in the next result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately I have not yet read this story so I don't believe it would be fair to rate this book just yet. This is why I just gave it 3 stars and for no other reason.