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A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years von [MacCulloch, Diarmaid]
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A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years Kindle Edition

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Sprache: Englisch
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Praise for Christianity

“Immensely ambitious and absorbing.”
—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“A landmark contribution . . . It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive and surprisingly accessible volume than MacCulloch’s.”
—Jon Meacham, The New York Times Book Review

“A prodigious, thrilling, masterclass of a history book. MacCulloch is to be congratulated for his accessible handling of so much complex, difficult material.”
—John Cornwell, Financial Times

“A tour de force: it has enormous range, is gracefully and wittily written, and from page one holds the attention. Everyone who reads it will learn things they didn’t know.”
—Eamon Duffy, author of Saints and Sinners

“MacCulloch brings an insider’s wit to tracing the fate of official Christianity in an age of doubt, and to addressing modern surges of zeal, from Mormons to Pentecostals.”
—The Economist

“A triumphantly executed achievement. This book is a landmark in its field, astonishing in its range, compulsively readable, full of insight even for the most jaded professional and of illumination for the interested general reader. It will have few, if any, rivals in the English language.”
—Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

“A well-informed and—bless the man—witty narrative guaranteed to please and at the same time displease every single reader, if hardly in identical measure. . . . The author’s prose style is fluent, well-judged, and wholly free of cant. . . . You will shut this large book with gratitude for a long and stimulating journey.”
—The Washington Times

“A tour de force . . . The great strength of the book is that it covers, in sufficient but not oppressive detail, huge areas of Christian history which are dealt with cursorily in traditional accounts of the subject and are unfamiliar to most English-speaking readers. . . . MacCulloch’s analysis of why Christianity has taken root in Korea but made such a hash in India is perceptive and his account of the nineteenth-century missions in Africa and the Pacific is first-rate and full of insight. . . . The most brilliant point of this remarkable book is its identification of the U.S. as the prime example of the kind of nation the reformers hoped to create.”
—Paul Johnson, The Spectator


Christianity, one of the world's great religions, has had an incalculable impact on human history. This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organisation and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.

Diarmaid MacCulloch ranges from Palestine in the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century and from San Francisco to Korea in the twentieth. He is one of the most widely travelled of Christian historians and conveys a sense of place as arrestingly as he does the power of ideas. He presents the development of Christian history differently from any of his predecessors. He shows how, after a semblance of unity in its earliest centuries, the Christian church divided during the next 1400 years into three increasingly distanced parts, of which the western Church was by no means always the most important: he observes that at the end of the first eight centuries of Christian history, Baghdad might have seemed a more likely capital for worldwide Christianity than Rome. This is the first truly global history of Christianity.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 75057 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 1182 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin (24. September 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B002S0KB72
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.7 von 5 Sternen 3 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #89.421 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Probably one of the best books of history I have ever red. MacCulloch has such an interesting and passionate way of narrating history that charms you from the first to the last page.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The book gives a very complete and fair account of the first centuries of the Christian Church and invited to further reseach on the foundations.
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Format: Taschenbuch
The book was in a good condition upon arrival. Delivery however took 21 days (over Christmas 2010/extremely bad snowy weather.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten) 4.3 von 5 Sternen 283 Rezensionen
71 von 73 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Encyclopedic and insightful 31. Mai 2010
Von Jay C. Smith - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
If you are in the market for a comprehensive 1000 page overview of the history of Christianity this is the one. Diarmaid MacCulloch has written a masterful synthesis. He covers all that one might reasonably expect in such a volume -- moving from ancient Greece, Rome, and Israel up to the contemporary culture wars, including the Orthodox East as well as the Latin West. He transitions seamlessly from topic to topic and is almost never merely superficial. He successfully balances the need to relate relevant details with the virtue of concision. His interpretations are often stimulating and characteristically judicious.

The book either can be read profitably straight-through (for those with strong attention spans) or used as a reference source as the occasion arises. It helpfully contains extensive source endnotes, suggestions for further reading, and an index, plus page references for inter-related topics are noted parenthetically throughout the text.

That the development of Christianity might be treated historically at all may seem heretical to some. History seldom consistently comforts belief. MacCulloch points out, for example, that right off the bat "one of the greatest turning points in the Christian story" may have been that the last days, as apparently expected by many early followers of the movement, had not arrived by the end of the first century CE.

He emphasizes that certain major historical outcomes were contingent, not inevitable. For example, the victories of Christian over Islamic forces in 678 at Constantinople and in 732-33 near Poitiers helped shield the West from Islam and "preserved a Europe in which Christianity remained dominant, and as a result the centre of energy and unfettered development shifted west from its old Eastern centres." Later, he believes, the Church's response to Luther was unnecessarily heavy-handed, further dramatically re-shaping the West (not surprisingly, he is especially strong on the Reformation, the subject of his earlier well-received major work).

MacCulloch does not shy away from lofty theology, often a turn-off to some readers of religious histories. Indeed, he seeks to demonstrate how seemingly rarified theological controversies have sometimes stirred the masses. He provides ample discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Chalcedonian controversy, disputes regarding the Eucharist, and the like, but never to the point of tedium.

He traces how theological emphases shifted over time, including the emergence of elements of Christian belief that had little or no Biblical foundation. For instance, he calls the concept of Purgatory, which had taken root by the 1170s, "one of the most successful and long-lasting theological ideas in the Western church. It bred an intricate industry of prayer: a whole range of institutions and endowments," financing priests to devote their time to saving souls.

MacCulloch attends to Christianity's engagements with worldly power and with political and societal issues. He provides plentiful material for readers to construct their own balance sheets of where Christians have stood through history regarding, for example, the roles of women, slavery and race, war and violence, concerns for the poor and the oppressed, religious tolerance, and (more recently) Fascism and Nazism.

MacCulloch points out that "doubt is fundamental to religion. One human sees holiness in someone, something, somewhere: where is the proof to others?" He notes, for instance, that while the nineteenth century is typically seen as a period of skepticism, it was a period "crowded with visionaries both Catholic and Protestant" when Christianity ambitiously spread its global reach.

Christianity has never been uniform. Its ability to mutate is one of its great strengths, particularly its ability to accommodate syncretist variations in non-European cultures. MacCulloch concludes with the observation that, "It would be very surprising if this religion, so youthful, yet so varied in its historical experience, had now revealed all its secrets."
4.0 von 5 Sternen Long but very informative 6. August 2017
Von Nancy C. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is over 1,000 pages long (excluding notes and index). Reading it is more like a way of life or a devotion than reading a normal book. I've been at it for months already, reading a little each day, and I'm determined to finish it -- because if I do, I will have learned the entire history of Christianity, all 3,000 years of it! It is a long and crazy history, but reading this book will give you a basis for being much more informed about Christianity's long and varied history, which has affected so much in our world. There are aspects of Christianity I simply had never heard anything about before -- for example, the Armenian church, the Orthodox church, Christianity in Africa, etc. It is very well written and dense but not difficult writing. I also watched the 6 part DVD that accompanies this. You can see Diarmaid MacCulloch's passion for the subject, which comes through in every page. He is a truly passionate scholar.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen PACKED FULL OF HISTORY 23. Januar 2016
Von Eliza - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book is assigned reading for the 3rd year of a 4-year course I'm taking that is designed and administered by the University of the South (aka Sewanee). The course, Education for Ministry is affiliated with the seminary at Sewanee. This book is not in any way to be considered light reading! It is a densely packed history of how Christianity evolved. It begins 1000 years before Jesus was born to establish the sources of some Christian traditions and goes on to establish the context of the world in which Jesus lived. The class is on chapter 13 of 33 so I can't review the entire book. I can say that, so far, it's a little like taking a bus tour. MacCullough us clearly very knowledgeable but I constantly find myself saying, "What was that again?". MacCulloch provides references, by chapter, at the end of every section. In the back of the book he provides some 20 pages of "further reading," some new sources and others already mentioned at the end of the section of the book and he warns the reader that not all the books are in English. There is also one of the most complete indexes I've ever seen. If you want to know how King Arthur relates to Christianity, the index will tell you where to find it.

There is a very important question to ask yourself before you purchase this book: are you willing to be open minded? This book is strongly rooted in archeological finds and historical evidence, together with conclusions drawn from those sources. If you can't keep an open mind, this may not be the right book for you. For example, there is evidence that not all of Paul's letters were actually written by Paul. Yes, some of the letters can be authenticated as Paul's, but other letters were written by others at Paul's direction, and then there are some that were written up to 300 years after Paul died. In that time, it was not uncommon to attribute writings to the person who "inspired" them i.e., authors wrote what they thought Paul would have said and put Paul's name on the writings instead of their own. (This practice was not unusual at the time.) And here I have to say that some, if not all, of the Pauline writings that many women find offensive fall into the latter category. The technical term is pseudepigraphic, a works whose author falsely attributed the writing to someone in the past.

I have 3 copies of the book: hard copy, ebook, and audible. Frankly, the hard copy is 1300+ pages and not really something I want to carry around. Even in class I use my ebook. I've had my best study results using the audible book and the ebook together to stay focused. Listening to the book makes it much more interesting. When I hear something that seems especially important, I highlight it in my ebook.

I've enjoyed the book in the context of my class and, if you're a history buff you'll likely enjoy it as well.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen comprehensive but good 21. Mai 2014
Von AB1DQ - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This work was assigned as the text for my Education for Ministry class this year. It made reading the bible in years one and two seem like short work. McCullough is indeed authoritative and comprehensive. It was a significant undertaking but he did a fabulous job of tracking global Christianity's development fro before the time of Jesus to the 21st century. I gained an appreciation of how all of Christianity fits together (or doesn't) and the major historical forces that shaped the development of the religion.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Worth reading for those who want to know more about Christianity today. 27. September 2013
Von Wayne Simpson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Worth reading if you truly want to understand the history of Christianity with ALL its successes and failures. McColloch peppers facts with opinions which lend perspective to history. At times you may wonder if he has become a non-believer or opposed to certain Christian traditions but always realize well founded critique as well as praise serve a more accurate understanding of where Christianity is today. If you are open to critical analysis of your faith, regardless whether you are conservative or liberal Catholic, Fundamentalist or Pentecostal Protestant, Unitarian, atheist, agnostic or whatever, and want more than a superficial or biased history of Christianity you will find this book valuable. Some have criticized the author's writing style and at times you have to work with his sentence structures and flow of ideas. However, McColloch masterfully connects related and influencing events, traditions and experiences from different times and accurately weaves the inseparable histories of Christianity and the world. In the end you understand how we arrived in 2013, secularism, particularly in Europe and turn to face the future with a surprising suggestion and optimism.
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