Cambridge History of Christianity
Cambridge History of Christianity the first of the nine-volume Cambridge History of Christianity series, Origins to Constantine provides a comprehensive overview of the essential events, persons, places and issues involved in the emergence of the Christian religion in the Mediterranean world in the first three centuries.
Cambridge History of Christianity Pdf
The Cambridge History of Christianity offers a comprehensive chronological account of the development of Christianity in all its aspects – theological, intellectual, social, political, regional, global – from its beginnings to the present day.
Each volume makes a substantial contribution in its own right to the scholarship of its period and the complete History constitutes a major work of academic reference. Far from being merely a history of western European Christianity and its offshoots, the History aims to provide a global perspective.
Eastern and Coptic Christianity are given full consideration from the early period onwards, and later, African, Far Eastern, New World, South Asian and other non-European developments in Christianity receive proper coverage.
The volumes cover popular piety and non-formal expressions of Christian faith and treat the sociology of Christian formation, worship, and devotion in a broad cultural context. The question of relations between Christianity and other major faiths is also kept insight throughout. History will provide an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike.
Once upon a time, historians of the early church wrote a simple story of a pristine faith received from Jesus Christ and communicated to his disciples. With an agreed gospel summed up in the Apostles’ Creed, they dispersed to spread the word in all directions. In time, however, this unified message was frustrated by distortions called heresies, which produced their own offspring, multiplying and diversifying, by contrast with the one truth entrusted to the apostles.
Despite heresy and persecution, however, Christianity triumphed with the conversion of Constantine. Doubtless, that is an over-simplification of an over-simplification, yet it is towards the goal of emancipation from such a schematic view of earliest Christianity (a perspective inherited from the ancient sources themselves) that much modern critical scholarship has been directed.
The recognition of diversity within Christianity from the very beginning has transformed the study of its origins. Simple models of development, or single theory explanations, whether they are applied to organizational, liturgical, doctrinal or other aspects of early church history, are recognizably inadequate.
We have endeavored to capture the complexity of early Christianity and its socio-cultural setting, whilst also indicating some of the elements that make it possible to trace a certain coherence, a recognizable identity, maintained over time and defended resolutely despite cultural pressure that could have produced something other.
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