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Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome

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Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this "good news," and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world.

Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head:

  • Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity.
  • Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews.
  • Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity.
  • The "oriental" faiths—such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor—actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire.
  • Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire— it allowed no female members and attracted only soldiers.

By analyzing concrete data, Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of more than one-third of the earth's population.

Synopsis:

A leading expert on early Christianity presents new, authentic, and sometimes startling facts and statistics about the rise of early Christianity, and reveals how it grew to become the world's greatest religion.

Synopsis:

How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this good news, and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world.

Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head:

Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity.

Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews.

Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity.

The oriental faiths--such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor--actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire.

Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire-- it allowedno female members and attracted only soldiers.

By analyzing concrete data, Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of more than one-third of the earth's population.

About the Author

Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and codirector of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. His previous books include The Rise of Christianity, God's Battalions, Cities of God, and Discovering God, which won the 2008 Award of Merit for Theology/Ethics from Christianity Today.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061349881
Subtitle:
The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome
Author:
Stark, Rodney
Author:
by Rodney Stark
Author:
Sizemore, Susan
Publisher:
HarperOne
Subject:
Sociology of Religion
Subject:
Christianity - History - General
Subject:
Church History
Subject:
Romance - Historical
Subject:
Christianity-Church History General
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20071030
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.00x5.34x.68 in. .48 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Religion » Christianity » Church History » Early
Religion » Christianity » Church History » General
Religion » Western Religions » Church History
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages HarperOne - English 9780061349881 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A leading expert on early Christianity presents new, authentic, and sometimes startling facts and statistics about the rise of early Christianity, and reveals how it grew to become the world's greatest religion.
"Synopsis" by , How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this good news, and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world.

Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head:

Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity.

Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews.

Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity.

The oriental faiths--such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor--actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire.

Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire-- it allowedno female members and attracted only soldiers.

By analyzing concrete data, Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of more than one-third of the earth's population.

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