Item description for A History of the Christian Church by Williston Walker...
Overview Since publication of the first edition in 1918, A History of the Christian Church by Williston Walker has enjoyed outstanding success and recognition as a classic in the field. Written by an eminent theologian, it combines in its narrative a rare blend of clarity, unity, and balance. In light of significant advances in scholarship in recent years, extensive revisions have been made to this fourth edition. Three scholars from Union Theological Seminary in New York have incorporated new historical discoveries and provided fresh interpretations of various periods in church history from the first century to the twentieth. The result is a thoroughly updated history which preserves the tenor and structure of Walker's original, unparalleled text.
Publishers Description Since publication of the first edition in 1918, "A History of the Christian Church" by Williston Walker has enjoyed outstanding success and recognition as a classic in the field. Written by an eminent theologian, it combines in its narrative a rare blend of clarity, unity, and balance. In light of significant advances in scholarship in recent years, extensive revisions have been made to this fourth edition. Three scholars from Union Theological Seminary in New York have incorporated new historical discoveries and provided fresh interpretations of various periods in church history from the first century to the twentieth. The result is a thoroughly updated history which preserves the tenor and structure of Walker's original, unparalleled text.
Citations And Professional Reviews A History of the Christian Church by Williston Walker has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 12/01/2007 page 63
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More About Williston Walker
Williston Walker was born in Portland, Maine, July 1, 1860, the son of a distinguished Congregational minister. He received his A. B. degree from Amherst College in 1883, was graduated from Hartford Theological Seminary in 1886 and received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Leipzig in 1888. He succeeded Woodrow Wilson as associate professor of history at Bryn Mawr College. He later taught church history at Hartford Theological Seminary. In 1901 Yale University called him to succeed George Park Fisher as Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History, a position which he held until his death in 1922. The Reformation, Ten New England Leaders, Great Men of the Christian Church, and A History of the Christian Church are among his distinguished works.
Williston Walker was born in 1860 and died in 1922.
Reviews - What do customers think about A History of the Christian Church?
Easy and Complete Text Jul 1, 2007
This has been an excellent additon to my library and helped me immensely during my seminary studies on ancient and medieval church history. Look up any subject, from Iranaeus to Arianism, and you will find several pages that sum up the topic beautifully.
One caution is to remember the book was written at the beginning of the 20th century and so may be lacking recent scholarship. Nevertheless I recommend it as a good second text on the subject of church history. As the intro says, it is a book noted for its "clarity, compactness, and balance."
Good Stuff Mar 8, 2007
Although I am not completely finished with this book, I find it a helpful and interesting source for the class I purchased it for. It seems a little redundant at first, but one finds out that this is to emphasize important facts and events. I definitely recommend this book for History of Christianity courses or the like.
A Recognized Classic in the Field of Christian History Sep 18, 2005
This is one of the most comprehensive and thorough single volume works of Christian Church History that I have ever read. Originally published in 1918 by Yale University's 'Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History,' Williston Walker, this work has been 'updated' or revised through the years by three Union Theological Seminary Professors based on new discoveries, insights, data, uncovered archaeological evidence, and historical discoveries.
The subsequent revised versions included a final section on 'Modern Christianity.' So much of what happen in the 20th century was added to later editions. The book is nicely divided into seven (VII) periods. These seven periods are:
Period I - The Beginnings to the Gnostic Crisis. This period covers the first two centuries of Christianity from Christ's time to the apologists ending in the second century.
Period II - From the Gnostic Crisis to Constantine. This is one of the better sections or 'Periods' marking the growth of the Church, the formation of Catholicism, and the development of theology.
Period III - The Imperial State Church. This section covers controversies which arose (Arianism, Pelagianism, etc.). It also covers the division which occurred between the East and the West, Augustine of Hippo, the Growth of the Papacy, etc.
Period IV - The Middle Ages to the Close of the Investiture Controversy. This section covers the expansion of Christianity into Europe, The Greek Church, the Papacy and the Ottoman Empire, and much more.
Period V - The Latter Medieval Ages. This is another excellent section covering the rise of Scholasticism and its thinkers (Anselm, Aquinas, etc.). The rise of Orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.) The effects/theology of mysticism, Wyclif and Hus, and into the Italian Renaissance (and much more).
Period VI - The Reformation. This sections covers every aspect of the Reformation from beginning to end in as much detail as can be allowed in about 150 pages.
Period VII - Modern Christianity. This section covers the end of the Middle Ages to the current day. Christianity in America, Britain, the rise of Protestantism, the Great Awakenings, Deism, Pietism, the Puritans, Colonial discoveries and the spread of Christianity to North America, etc. are all covered in this section.
One of the best features of this work is the bibliography. The compilers have actually created a bibliography for every period mentioned above. So if the reader wants to do more specific research on any given period or thinker, there is a very detailed reference/bibliography section that is 21 pages long. This makes for excellent research sources and further study.
Overall, this work is very well balanced, very well written in such a short space. It covers nearly every detail from major to minor (with the exception of a few things that were left out that should have been included - e.g. Louis de Molina is not included, and thus Molinism is left out). It is quite easy to read, and is systematically put together in a nice chronological order (as history actually unfolded).
If you are looking for a detailed but somewhat brief (709 plus pages) Christian History text, then I recommend this one.
Irritating at times, but overall well-done Feb 23, 2004
I understand that I am differing with other reviewers in giving Walker 5 stars, and at times I found Walker's passe divorcing of "faith and history" annoying, nevertheless, he knows his history and how to write it.
The editors at the beginning make note of how Walker was indebted to the fruits of German scholarship--that becomes evident really quick in the book. In examing the early years of Chrisitanity (Christ through the rise of Docetism), Walker, although I disagree with parts of his methodolgy, has cogent arguments for the development of Christological thought. His contribution to early Trinitarian thought is outstanding. He outperforms himself in the times Jan Hus to the Reformation. Although I had a good grip on the Reformation, I found myself re-reading those chapters simply because they are so good.
This is a well-researched book. However, I was shocked when I saw the price. Nevertheless, and the bigger the checkbook the better, this book is well-worth the horrendous price (ok, I understand there is a reason for the price). Tolle Legge!
Informative but can be too detailed Sep 4, 2002
This is a very detailed book covering many years and topics regarding the history of the mainstream Christian church. It does tend to meander back to Catholicism most of the time, but they are the leading Christian group. Overall, a very worthwhile book if you try not to get bogged down with all the dates and names put forth. From my limited experience, I think this is also a very thorough book which has gone through several revisions to keep it current. Except for the fact I needed this for a class, I would not have purchased it at full price, or close to full price.