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Penguin Putnam Inc. Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

The Definitive account of Christianity in our time.


A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years goes back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and encompasses Christianity's spread across the globe. It captures the major turning points in human history and fills in often neglected accounts of conversion and confrontation in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

It uncovers the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the surprising beliefs of the founding fathers, the rise of the Evangelical movement and of Pentecostalism, and the recent crisis within the Catholic Church. Bursting with original insights and a great pleasure to read, this monumental history will not soon be surpassed.

And yet, there is so much more to this story. MacCulloch also, and eloquently, narrates the events surrounding Apostolic Christianity, the doctrinal struggles during the era of the Patristics and Ecumenical Councils. He then moves into lesser-known and understood eras that include, the Great Schism between the Greek East and Latin West, the medieval era, and the tumultuous period of the Crusades.

He then moves back into the turbulent, superstitious, and conflicted world of the Protestant Reformation and the events and cataclysmic religious and social changes it would inspire. He then moves through the Enlightenment period, and into the events precipitating the awakenings in America and Great Britain that gave birth to the global Pentecostal phenomenon, and what we now know as Global Christianity.

Along the way, McCulloch introduces the reader to numerous monks, crusaders and mystics, theologians, social activists, popes, politicians, and many other characters that have defined the shape of the church. But he also includes the outsiders, heretics and renegade saints, all the while breathing life into the vibrant spectrum of Christianity's four major branches. Magnificent in its scope, Diarmaid MacCulloch's work is certain to be an unrivaled benchmark in the field of Christian history for years to come.
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