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Hardcover The Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith Book

ISBN: 1847241409

ISBN13: 9781847241405

The Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

The story of Christianity is an immeasurably fascinating one. A faith that began in Roman occupied Palestine, as a small and fugitive faction within Judaism, grew, thrived and finally "conquered" the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Good highlights of lesser-known churches

Professor Hart is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, but as in many of his works, he gives considerable (and fair) attention to the West. He doesn't cover any new ground in this book that one wouldn't also find in the standard church history book, but he does cover old ground from new angles. In discussing the different epochs of Church History, Hart asks the reader questions that only an Easterner would ask, causing the reader to pause for reflection and to come away with a richer understanding of his faith. In this review I will focus on several areas that Westerners do not either speak of or speak of in simplistic terms: Christology, Asian Christianities, and the struggle for faith in the 19th Century. So, I won't be giving a point-by-point outline of the book. Most readers will be familiar enough with the material. Christology When we speak of Christ it's usually in terms of "God sent him to die for our sins so that we could be saved." That's true, but there's more to the story. As Hart notes of the Incarnation, "human beings were now able to become vessels of the divine presence, and Christians would look forward to a day when God's glory would be revealed in those who had been joined to Christ, and would transfigure the whole of creation" (12). Hart is not changing the story but telling it on different grounds, allowing different (but very biblical) questions to be raised. Asian and African Christianities If any churches can claim continuity with antiquity, it would be Armenian and Indian churches. Like other Oriental churches, the Armenian church had problems with Chalcedonian formulations (one wonders how much of this was substance and how much was language?). According to legend, the Church in India was founded by St Thomas the Apostle. Hart argues this might not be entirely fiction. There were ancient trade routes from the Middle East to India and there were Christian communities in western India as early as the second century (62). The Anguish of Faith in the 19th Century Many writers point out the depression and anguish of the 1800s. Non-Christian writers were in despair (read a secular novel from the 19th century and see the quiet desperation). Christian writers, supposedly, were in flux. And much of this narrative is true. Hart goes on to say that despite the acute attacks on Christianity (Nietzsche, Comte, etc), there was a flowering of fresh Christian activity. And perhaps these were related. The Slavophiles of Russia reacted to the Enlightenment and in that reaction produced arguably the most creative Christian response. Alexei Khomyakov and Vladimir Solovyov articulated the Sobornost: an integrated approach to reality that values brotherhood, harmony, and concordance all in the context of a connected and rooted Christianity. Even to this day it is my opinion that Sobornost is the best response to socialism and capitalism. And finally, the 19th century gave us one of the greatest thinkers of all time: Fyodor Dostoevsky. Conclusi


This is an intelligent, very well written and superbly illustrated summary of Christian History. For any Christian who wants to know more about their roots I can't think of a better book to begin reading about the incredible story of Christianity.


Brilliantly written and beautifully illustrated, this excellent book is an exacting, fair-minded and eloquent look at both Christian AND human history. Hart's truly astounding knowledge of church/Christian history and his remarkable writing skills are on full display here, with his observations and story re-telling complimented by sometimes lovely, oft-times heart-rending and all-times exquisite illustrations, artwork and photographs. (This entry from Mr. Hart is aimed at a wider, more public audience than much of his other work. For those of you familiar with his more academic oeuvre, be prepared for a much more reader-friendly, and lovely, style of prose -a style and imagery often hinted at in his scholarly works but loosed here, in this less constricted writing environment, in all its' glory.) As one other reviewer mentioned, for a one-volume compendium on such a complex and exhaustive subject, this is as thorough and comprehensive a treatment as one can get. Whether well-versed on the topic or less so knowledgeable, for anyone seeking an objective, informed and fairly intensive look at the roots and rich history of Christianity, and how it has become what it is today, this is the handbook. For Christians looking for a thought-provoking, challenging and ultimately uplifting and reassuring study on the story of one Jesus Christ and the religion which bears His name, you need look no further than this beautiful and inspiring volume.

Historical but interesting!

I found this an excellent resource as a historical perspective on Christianity. It is an unbiased, factual read and helps to clear up a lot of the confusion that arises when conflicting religious perspectives quarrel about what Christianity "really" is. I highly recommend to anyone with questions about religion, Christian practices, history of the Christian church, and especially to Christians who may not be certain what their beliefs truly profess.

The History of Christianity by David Bentley Hart

This is a magnificent and beautiful book. Exquisitely illustrated, it's the history of Christianity in brief -- as complete as one volume can put it and in words easily read and understood by the reader. It's easily worth several times what it costs, as it leaves one with a new assurance of what he or she believes and knows about Christianity. In very few words, Hart displays his excellent knowledge of the sweep of Christianity from its beginning to the present. There is beauty in both the illustrations and the prose. I highly recommend it!Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith
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