The Rise Of Christianity

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060677015
Size: 42.54 MB
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This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. "Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).

The Rise Of Christianity

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691027494
Size: 29.59 MB
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Rodney Stark, a sociologist by training, has written a book that should end much of the Christian-bashing occuring in academia. Stark demonstrates that Christianity became popular very quickly because it offered its adherents a better faith than competing religions and treated those believers better both physically and spiritually.

The Rise Of Christianity

Author: W. H. C. Frend
Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN: 9781451419528
Size: 80.70 MB
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Traces the early history of the Christian church from Jewish Palestine prior to Christ's birth to the sixth century monastic movement, and explains how Christianity survived under a variety of cultures

Cities Of God

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061739979
Size: 14.96 MB
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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.

Discovering God

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 006174333X
Size: 55.33 MB
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Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics The History of God In Discovering God, award-winning sociologist Rodney Stark presents a monumental history of the origins of the great religions from the Stone Age to the Modern Age and wrestles with the central questions of religion and belief.

The Triumph Of Christianity

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062098705
Size: 26.56 MB
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Celebrated religious and social historian Rodney Starktraces the extraordinary rise of Christianity through its most pivotal andcontroversial moments to offer fresh perspective on the history of the world’slargest religion. In The Triumph of Christianity, the author of God’sBattalions and The Rise of Christianity gathers and refines decadesof powerful research and discovery into one concentrated, concise, and highlyreadable volume that explores Christianity’s most crucial episodes. The uniqueformat of Triumph of Christianity allows Stark to avoid densechronologies and difficult back stories, bringing readers right to the heart ofChristian history’s most vital controversies and enduring lessons.

How Christianity Changed The World

Author: Alvin J. Schmidt
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0310862507
Size: 51.98 MB
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Western civilization is becoming increasingly pluralistic,secularized, and biblically illiterate. Many people todayhave little sense of how their lives have benefited fromChristianity’s influence, often viewing the church withhostility or resentment.How Christianity Changed the World is a topicallyarranged Christian history for Christians and non-Christians. Grounded in solid research and written in apopular style, this book is both a helpful apologetic toolin talking with unbelievers and a source of evidence forwhy Christianity deserves credit for many of thehumane, social, scientific, and cultural advances in theWestern world in the last two thousand years.Photographs, timelines, and charts enhance eachchapter.This edition features questions for reflection anddiscussion for each chapter.

The Triumph Of Faith

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1504028260
Size: 64.43 MB
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TheTriumph of Faith explodes the myth that people around the world are abandoning religion. Stark marshals an incredible amount of data—surveys of more than a million people in 163 nations—to paint the full picture that both scholars and popular commentators have missed. He explains why the astonishing growth of religion is happening, and what it means for our future. Stark’s lively, eye-opening book is full of insights that defy the conventional wisdom. He reveals: • Why Islam is not overtaking Christianity • 81 percent of people around the world claim to belong to an organized religious faith • Half of the people around the world attended a worship service in the past week • Despite all the attention paid to the “New Atheists,” atheists remain few, anywhere • Latin America has never been so Catholic—and that’s because there are now so many Protestants there • Of all the great world religions, only Buddhism may not be growing As Stark shows, secularists have been predicting the imminent demise of religion for centuries. It is their unshakeable faith in secularization that may be the most “irrational” of all.

The Victory Of Reason

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588365002
Size: 45.67 MB
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Many books have been written about the success of the West, analyzing why Europe was able to pull ahead of the rest of the world by the end of the Middle Ages. The most common explanations cite the West’s superior geography, commerce, and technology. Completely overlooked is the fact that faith in reason, rooted in Christianity’s commitment to rational theology, made all these developments possible. Simply put, the conventional wisdom that Western success depended upon overcoming religious barriers to progress is utter nonsense. In The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark advances a revolutionary, controversial, and long overdue idea: that Christianity and its related institutions are, in fact, directly responsible for the most significant intellectual, political, scientific, and economic breakthroughs of the past millennium. In Stark’s view, what has propelled the West is not the tension between secular and nonsecular society, nor the pitting of science and the humanities against religious belief. Christian theology, Stark asserts, is the very font of reason: While the world’s other great belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic and reason as the path toward enlightenment, freedom, and progress. That is what made all the difference. In explaining the West’s dominance, Stark convincingly debunks long-accepted “truths.” For instance, by contending that capitalism thrived centuries before there was a Protestant work ethic–or even Protestants–he counters the notion that the Protestant work ethic was responsible for kicking capitalism into overdrive. In the fifth century, Stark notes, Saint Augustine celebrated theological and material progress and the institution of “exuberant invention.” By contrast, long before Augustine, Aristotle had condemned commercial trade as “inconsistent with human virtue”–which helps further underscore that Augustine’s times were not the Dark Ages but the incubator for the West’s future glories. This is a sweeping, multifaceted survey that takes readers from the Old World to the New, from the past to the present, overturning along the way not only centuries of prejudiced scholarship but the antireligious bias of our own time. The Victory of Reason proves that what we most admire about our world–scientific progress, democratic rule, free commerce–is largely due to Christianity, through which we are all inheritors of this grand tradition.