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eBook

Cities of God

eBook|Mar 2009
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$18.99

How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this "good news," and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on ...


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How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this "good news," and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world.


Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head:

Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity. Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews. Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity. The "oriental" faiths-such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor-actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire. Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire- it allowed no female members and attracted only soldiers.
By analyzing concrete data, Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of more than one-third of the earth's population.

^ Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head: ^Contrary to fictions such as "The Da Vinci Code" and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity. ^Paul was calle

-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 372333
  • Product Code 9780061739972
  • ISBN 0061739979
  • EAN 9780061739972
  • Department Academic
  • Category History
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Harper Collins Australia
  • Publication Date Mar 2009
  • DRM Adobe
  • Printable No
  • Size 3.36 MB (EPUB)

Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. His twenty-seven books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity; Cities of God; One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism; For the Glory of God, which won the 2004 Award of Merit for History/Biography from Christianity Today; and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success and most recently Discovering God Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics.
Koorong - Editorial Review.

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