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The Rise of Christianity: How to Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force ....by Rodney Stark
Synopses & Reviews
This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life.
"Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).
Sociologist Rodney Stark combines his expertise in social science with historical evidence to offer a provocative report. Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, and that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. Index. 9 photos. Map. Tables.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 223-242) and index.
About the Author
Rodney Stark, professor of sociology and comparative religion at the University of Washington, is widely recognized as one of the premier contemporary sociologists of religion. He is the co-author of The Churching of America, 1776-1990,with Roger Finke and A Theory of Religion,with William Sims Bainbridge. He lives in Seattle, WA.
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