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The Lost History of Christianity

Cover of The Lost History of Christianity

The Lost History of Christianity

The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia---and How It Died
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The surprising story of how Christianity flourished in China, India, the Middle East, and Africa for 1,000 years, shaping Christianity---and Islam---as they are today.

The surprising story of how Christianity flourished in China, India, the Middle East, and Africa for 1,000 years, shaping Christianity---and Islam---as they are today.

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  • AudioFile Magazine Dick Hill's reading of Jenkins's revisionist history is pleasant enough, but for this listener it falls short on several counts. Listeners are challenged, for the ten hours over which the audiobook unfolds, to hold in their minds the names of many unfamiliar people, places, dates, and sects without the helpful visual cue of seeing words on the page. The second quibble is content related. Jenkins's book presents itself as an iconoclastic retelling of the early history of Christianity--of the rise and fall of sects lost to history when Roman Catholic and other orthodox Christianities achieved dominance. It's pitched by its publisher as a "shocking" history of the death of early Christianity, and Dick Hill plays along, occasionally imparting a wide-eyed tone to the narrative that eventually grows tiresome. M.G. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 14, 2008
    Revisionist history is always great fun, and never more so than when it is persuasively and cogently argued. Jenkins, the Penn State history professor whose book The Next Christendom
    made waves several years ago, argues that it's not exactly a new thing that Christianity is making terrific inroads in Asia and Africa. A thousand years ago, those continents were more Christian than Europe, and Asian Christianity in particular was the locus of tremendous innovations in mysticism, monasticism, theology and secular knowledge. The little-told story of Christianity's decline in those two continents—hastened by Mongol invasions, the rise of Islam and Buddhism, and internecine quarrels—is sensitively and imaginatively rendered. Jenkins sometimes challenges the assertions of other scholars, including Karen Armstrong and Elaine Pagels, but provides compelling evidence for his views. The book is marvelously accessible for the lay reader and replete with fascinating details to help personalize the ambitious sweep of global history Jenkins undertakes. This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Lost History of Christianity
The Lost History of Christianity
The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia---and How It Died
Philip Jenkins
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