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How to Read Church History Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Fifteenth Century (The Crossroad Adult Christian Formation) [Paperback]

By Jean Comby (Author)
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Item description for How to Read Church History Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Fifteenth Century (The Crossroad Adult Christian Formation) by Jean Comby...

Specifically geared to the adult learner; adaptable to individual, parish, and other group needs; and richly illustrated with photos and charts, this two volume set helps teachers and students connect the content of each text with their own life experiences and the community in which they live.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 8.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1985
Publisher   Crossroad/Faith & Formation
ISBN  0824507223  
ISBN13  9780824507220  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about How to Read Church History Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Fifteenth Century (The Crossroad Adult Christian Formation)?

What a format  Feb 29, 2008
Whoever designed the textural format of this book should go back to school. It is horrid !! The information almost seems hidden. I was always having to turn pages back and forth.
A long time ago...  Nov 25, 2003
Jean Comby's text, 'How to Read Church History: Volume 1', covers the period from the beginnings of the church to the time of the beginnings of the Reformation in the fifteenth century. It is part of a series by the Crossroad Press on how to read or study different aspects of church history, practice, and belief. Divided into ten chapters, it examines the early, pre-institutional church, the church fathers, the consolidation of the institutional church, the medieval period, the East/West split, and the overarching society known as Christendom.

This text was originally published in French, translated a few years later for the benefit of English-reading audiences. For a book that was prepared before the wide-spread influence of the internet, it bears a remarkable similarity to modern web pages in its format and design. There are boxes, highlighted areas, pull-quotes, sidebars and other features throughout -- this is no simple, boring narrative. There are charts (chronologies, canons, etc.), maps, timelines, definitions, line-art drawings, and more.

Church history is a history of people in the world. Thus, a good deal of space is devoted to explaining the world in which Christianity existed. The religion shaped the culture, and vice versa. Church history exists largely in the documentary evidence and the physical evidence from the past, so language, art, architecture, archaeology, religious and historical writings are all important. No one anthology or narrative history will be able to incorporate the fullness of Christian history (as the author admits), nor do most people (even scholars) have the time and resources needed to investigate all possible sources of information. Chapters do have recommended reading lists on each topic.

Each of the ten chapters is brief, supplemented with maps, charts, boxes, and more. The narrative history could be read in but a few sittings (perhaps, for the quick reader, even in one sitting). This can then be fleshed out by including the complementary information upon second reading. Like much of history, some memorisation of dates, persons, places, movements, etc. would be helpful -- the style of this text makes that much more easy to do. There is a great deal of diversity within the history of the church, with lots of strands that can easily become confusing. The format of this book lays out the different lines in an organised way, showing the divergences and the inter-relationships well.

This is a book of context and background. It does not take the place of doing reading in the primary texts. One will never get the true sense from Augustine's 'Confessions' by reading the summary here. However, one will get a greater appreciation for the larger Christian and Roman context into which Augustine was born and from which Augustine was writing. To this end, Comby gives suggestions on how to read the ancient texts, reminding the reader here that the worldview was quite different, and the presumed message from the the text will be different today than in the past. Also recommended are more modern surveys of history, from the different perspectives within Christianity and academia.

Interesting, accessible, full of great information, this book helps to make church history (a much neglected subject by many churches and many schools) come alive for the modern reader. Comby's intention is specifically to bring up those parts of history most relevant and useful in modern contexts and practice.


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