Item description for The Faith: A History of Christianity by Brian Moynahan...
Overview From the birth of Jesus to the present day, a beautifully illustrated chronicle traces the history of Christianity, discussing the various movements, events, teachings, and personalities that have shaped the course of the Christian church. Reprint.
Publishers Description Beginning with the birth of Jesus and tracing the religion established by his followers up to the present day, The Faith is a comprehensive exploration of the history of Christianity. Judiciously covering all the signal moments without bogging down in minutia, author Brian Moynahan's superbly written and generously illustrated book is of central importance to Christians, historians, and anyone interested in a faith that shaped the modern world. Moynahan's research uses little-known sources to tell a magnificent story encompassing everything from the early tremulous years after Jesus' death to the horrors of persecution by Nero, from the growth of monasteries to the bloody Crusades, from the building of the great cathedrals to the cataclysm of the Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation, from the flight of pilgrims from Europe in pursuit of religious freedom to the Salem Witch Trials, from the advent of a traveling pope to the rise of televangelists. Coming just in time for Jubilee 2000, this ambitious book reveals and commemorates the significance of the Christian faith.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.2" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.8" Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Release Date Oct 21, 2003
ISBN 0385491158 ISBN13 9780385491150
Availability 140 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 21, 2017 03:44.
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More About Brian Moynahan
BRIAN MOYNAHAN graduated with honors from Cambridge University and embarked on a career as an author and journalist. He served on the staff of The Yorkshire Post, Town Magazine, and The Times (London). Since 1989, he has concentrated on writing histories while continuing to write for British and American newspapers. His previous books include Airport International, Fool's Paradise, Claws of the Bear, Comrades, The Russian Century, and A Biography of Rasputin.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Faith: A History of Christianity?
The Faith Feb 15, 2008
This book is very interesting and truly gives insight as to the development of our Christian Religion. I certainly puts the development, tragedies, issues and places it in time perspective.
I would recommend this to anyone looking to better understand all Christian development.
A Fair History Showing that Christianity is Merely a Human Institution Jan 28, 2008
I just finished reading large portions of Brian Moynahan's book. I highly recommend it.
What I'm finding is that Moynahan tells us the good that the church did, as well as the bad. It's balanced and fair for the most part, implicating both Catholics and Protestants in their crimes, and also praising them for the good things they did. In any case, this is not a one sided history of Christianity. It shares how clerics, friars, priests and Protestants argued over things like the Inquisition, Crusades, the witch hunts, the conquering of the Americas, the slavery of African peoples, and how there were various Christian responses, both good and bad, to Stalin and Hitler.
As I read this book it becomes clearer to me that the history of the church is a history of humans groping for truth, moral truth. The church learned it like the rest of us do, through trial and error. They argued for it. They learned from their mistakes. And the church is still learning from her mistakes. We all do. It presents the history of the church in human terms. Christianity does not look like a divine institution at all when you understand her history! The history of the church looks entirely like a human enterprise. There is no real evidence it's a divine institution.
If there was one lack in my education it was in the area of church history. I had a two semester class in this subject as an undergraduate, and another two semester class in it for graduate school. Since my focus wasn't in that area I took the required courses. But as I remember them, they lacked in telling the whole story about the church. Yes, we read about the Crusades, and the Inquisition, but not much about slavery and the witch hunts. The focus was on theological doctrine and the progress of Christianity through missionary efforts. Among evangelicals, the whole progress of the church after the introduction of heresies in the 2nd century A.D. is seen to lead up to the restoration of a true understanding of the Bible once again, among true Christians in the 20th Century church, and beyond. And so the history of the church is a history of errors (both social and theological) precisely because she was led astray in the 2nd century A.D.
My view now is that this is an absolutely inaccurate portrayal of church history for many reasons that this book lays out in some detail. The history of the church can actually be seen to demolish evangelical claims over and over. To read the disputes Christians had down through the centuries is enlightening. To say one has finally arrived at the truth is not only naive and simplistic, but ignorant. One needs only to gain a good grasp of church history to see this, and as an introduction I highly recommend this fair and balanced book for starters. There are others. I could only wish that more Christians would became church historians.
What is Christianity? Dec 22, 2007
The Faith: A History of Christianity, is one of the most well researched as well as honest studies on the question of Christianity as well as the many roads the faith has taken. While looking at faith on a secular level, something that will most likely turn off some, The Faith shouldn't be seen as a secular attack on the divine but instead as a way to understand how Christians, who creeds have also stood at odds with each other, see what is divine.
The most important aspect of this book is the fact that it doesn't just focus on Western Christianity as some Christian History books often do while giving short attention to the Eastern Churches. Also covered at the Mormons, Pentecostal groups, and even Muslims in terms of their relations to the more "orthodox" forms Christianity which are better known as Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox believers. The wars of religion, waged between Catholics and Protestants across Western and Central Europe and explained as well as how secular movements such as Communism and Fascism also influence the faithful to take action on various different levels.
Christians tend to look at faith as if it existed in an isolated place far from non-Christians and the secular which is unfortunate because such sentiments are not only untrue but can also lead to distortion. In trying to understand how all of these various Christian, and non-Christian, beliefs have been tied in together, The Faith gives a picture of a religion that is truly global and is ever changing (despite what fundamentalists of all creeds would like to believe) to fit the needs of its believers.
I recommend this book to believer and non-believer alike. Too often people focus on what makes them different instead of what actually unites them. While The Faith is not an ecumenical book by any means, it is a good source to show that Christians have as much to learn about each other as they do about non-Christians.
Best History of Christianity I have found Feb 13, 2007
To try to sum up the history of Christianity in a 800 page book is well-nigh impossible -- but Moynahan does a good job trying. I've tried to read a couple of other general histories of Christianity and they were either too biased or too much like a laundry list. "Faith" manages to be interesting as well as informative -- no small feat.
I thought the book was well balanced. The horrors of the medieval Church are well and graphically described -- as are the inspirational stories of the courage and faith of the early-day Christians. We get a good description of the Moslem conquest of Christian lands, the Protestant reformation, the early day monks and pole-sitters in Egypt, the creation of the Mormons, the work of missionaries in China, India, and elsewhere and a wealth of other stories. An interesting question occured to me while reading: why was it that Christianity at the height of its architectural excellence -- the Gothic cathedrals -- at its worst in the moral sense with executions of heretics, corruption, and downright evil Church leaders?
Faith has full chapters on the thoughts and deeds of Paul, Augustine, the rise of Islam, the Crusades, Calvin, the Inquisition, the Puritans, the Jesuits, the Mormons, Darwin, and the "godless rulers of darkness:" Hitler and Stalin. I especially enjoyed his lengthy sections of Wycliffe, Hus and the other forerunners of the Protestant revolution.
There's a vast amount of material in this book. Inevitably, the reader will find some subjects of more interest than others but I believe overall the author has done an excellent job in producing a readable history that is about an objective as one can be on a subject of such magnitude and inspiring such emotion.
The Extraordinary Journey of Christianity Sep 22, 2006
Trying to condense some 2000 years of history into one book is certainly no easy task. But Brian Moynahan pulls it off quite effectively and gives us an excellent chronological overview of this ever-evolving and dynamic religion known as Christianity.
Moynahan seems to have covered just about every important historical aspect of Christianity: Jesus and his followers, early Christians, martyrs, heretics, popes, emperors, saints, mystics, crusaders, inquisitors, and politicians.
The author goes behind the scenes, so to speak, and explains things like; how men such as Paul and Constantine were responsible for the successful expansion of Christianity. Because without such figures, Christianity could have very easily remained a small religious sect or even evaporated entirely.
Also, every major event in Christian history is outlined in this book: councils, divisions, conversions, reformations, WWII, the birth of new Christian denominations in the twentieth century - and this is just a small fraction of what Moynahan actually covers. The research that was conducted for this book is quite impressive.
I appreciate Moynahan's ability to remain neutral throughout this book and not throw in his personal opinions. I think he did a fantastic job of reporting events the way they happened without sounding like a critic or an apologist. In other words, I value this book because it was written from a journalistic/historical perspective, and not from a religious or anti-religious point of view.
In my opinion, this book is very informative and overall complete. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people, places, and events that are mentioned in this book, so it may be a bit overwhelming for some who are just starting to learn about the history of Christianity.