Item description for Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100-400) (A.D. 100-400) by Ramsay MacMullen...
Overview How did the early Christian church manage to win its dominant place in the Roman world? In his newest book, an eminent historian of ancient Rome examines this question from a secular-rather than an ecclesiastical-viewpoint. MacMullen's provocative conclusion is that mass conversions to Christianity were based more on the appeal of miracle or the opportunity for worldly advantages then simply on a 'rising tide of Christian piety.'
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.3" Width: 6.27" Height: 0.61" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Sep 10, 1986
Publisher Yale University Press
ISBN 0300036426 ISBN13 9780300036428
Availability 0 units.
More About Ramsay MacMullen
Ramsay MacMullen is emeritus professor in the Department of History at Yale University and lives in New Haven, CT. Among his many previous books are Christianizing the Roman Empire, Corruption and the Decline of Rome, and Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries, all published by Yale University Press.
Ramsay MacMullen currently resides in the state of Connecticut. Ramsay MacMullen was born in 1928.
Reviews - What do customers think about Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100-400) (A.D. 100-400)?
Not sure whether to give 4 or 3, but... Mar 18, 2004
The book is as good as the other reviews describe. I found it unfortunately ambivalent, though, on certain crucial questions. For example, the author merely insinuates why he believes Constantine converted--for political convenience, to better influence conventions about royal dispensations to religious "chairties", true belief, what? A lot of good questions are posed, but most are answered with negatives; even what positive conclusions he does seem come to are unsatisfying because they still seem at least partly provisional. Interesting sources are used, and authors introduced, but in so small a book (150+ pages) these are more like a nice classical fog around a set of explanations that are pretty familiar. Is this objectivity or indifference? But it's still pretty good because of the number of topics he Does shed light on, and offers an interesting overview of the whole topic that does produce a useful and deep outline. It's just not better than 3 stars.
The Best History for History's Sake! No Games. Oct 11, 2003
Ramsay MacMullen's history of Christianity is brilliant. This is not the hokey stuff that is passed off as Critical Ancient History by the busybodies of various movements. You are in the right place. Marilyn Vos Savant says, "An expert is a person who not only knows everything that can be learned about a subject, but also knows which of that stuff is wrong". MacMullen is not easy to read. There will be some struggling. It is worth it! He is a master historian of the Roman Empire. I absolutely love his work. Read everything you can get your hands on. You will be astonished! MacMullen is highly respected by the members of the Association of Ancient Historians.(his fellow Pro's) You will learn why this is so. And maybe, how you were earlier conned, but you were too naive to know. I loathe those who abuse history to further their cause and make themselves look good! It makes me want to vomit. Charlie Turek, Magician, Order of Merlin
"This Work Adds to Traditional Views on Christianization" Feb 26, 2002
Ramsey MacMullen has much to offer contemporary scholarship on the much-discussed and always open-ended problem of Christianization in the Roman Empire. MacMullen systematically renders an insightful overview of the different transitions in the process of Christianization as follows: first the period from New Testament evangelism (as found in the Epistles and the Acts) to Constantine's conversion, and the period following after the emperor's conversion all the way to AD 407. MacMullen does not discount the more customary viewpoints held by scholars such as Edward Gibbon and J.B. Bury, or, for that matter, traditional ecclesiastical interpretation as well; he does add to them though; and this is his most remarkable feat. He manages to maintain a balance between the secular and the ecclesiastical, in turn offering food-for-thought for all readers. Ramsey MacMullen's work deserves praise and possible precedence even over the renowned scholar Peter Brown's works, which bear a similarity to R.M.'s but lack the same objectivity. While his style of prose is a bit unseasonable and skewed at times, the work, overall, will undoubtedly come as a relief and reward to anyone yet to be familiar with it.
History -- not diatribe Jan 19, 2002
I am delighted with this book because it presents the facts about early christianity without going into a diatribe in some particular direction. This is a book about the documented history of christianity -- not pro christian dogma and not anti-christian diatribe. While documentation is not the end of every possible controversy (in fact the book brings up new questions) it is at least helpful to know what information can in fact be found -- and to know what is not to be found.
Solid History Dec 23, 2001
Many of the reviews below are excellent, so this will be short. Throughout, the book bases its arguments solely on evidence of which there is a paucity for this time period. MacMullens strength however is beyond the examination of the evidence. He appears to set aside any attempt to spiritualize this time period or romanticize the practice of Xianity therein. Some his statements are surprising (e.g., that ater Paul, there is virtually no evidence of itinerant evangelism explicitly aimed at UNbelievers/ NONchristians), and most of these are arguments from silence though very probable in light of other evidence. Overall, this work is thorough, concise, and respectable. It achieves an examination of the early Christian faith as history while repudiating any attempts to use the primitive faith as a modern pulpit from which to preach. The book is quite concise, but its contents are so pithy as to prove to be an inspiration and guide for much further investigation.