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New History of Early Christianity

ISBN-10: 0300170831
ISBN-13: 9780300170832
Edition: 2011
Authors: Charles Freeman
List price: $27.50 Buy it from $5.43
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Description: The relevance of Christianity is as hotly contested today as it has ever been.A New History of Early Christianityshows how our current debates are rooted in the many controversies surrounding the birth of the religion and the earliest attempts to  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.50
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 4/26/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

The relevance of Christianity is as hotly contested today as it has ever been.A New History of Early Christianityshows how our current debates are rooted in the many controversies surrounding the birth of the religion and the earliest attempts to resolve them. Charles Freeman's meticulous historical account of Christianity from its birth in Judaea in the first century A.D. to the emergence of Western and Eastern churches by A.D. 600 reveals that it was a distinctive, vibrant, and incredibly diverse movement brought into order at the cost of intellectual and spiritual vitality. Against the conventional narrative of the inevitable "triumph" of a single distinct Christianity, Freeman shows that there was a host of competing Christianities, many of which had as much claim to authenticity as those that eventually dominated. Looking with fresh eyes at the historical record, Freeman explores the ambiguities and contradictions that underlay Christian theology and the unavoidable compromises enforced in the name of doctrine. Tracing the astonishing transformation that the early Christian church underwentfrom sporadic niches of Christian communities surviving in the wake of a horrific crucifixion to sanctioned alliance with the stateCharles Freeman shows how freedom of thought was curtailed by the development of the concept of faith. The imposition of "correct belief," religious uniformity, and an institutional framework that enforced orthodoxy were both consolidating and stifling. Uncovering the difficulties in establishing the Christian church, he examines its relationship with Judaism, Gnosticism, Greek philosophy and Greco-Roman society, and he offers dramatic new accounts of Paul, the resurrection, and the church fathers and emperors.

A member of the Blue Guides editorial board, Charles Freeman is the author of numerous books, including AD 381 and The Closing of the Western Mind. He lives in Suffolk, England.

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