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  • Christianity

  • The First Three Thousand Years
  • Written by: Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 46 hrs and 29 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Christianity

Written by: Diarmaid MacCulloch
Narrated by: Walter Dixon
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Publisher's Summary

Once in a generation, a historian will redefine his field, producing a book that demands to be read and heard - a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill. Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book. Breathtaking in ambition, it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world, following the three main strands of the Christian faith.

Christianity will teach modern listeners things that have been lost in time about how Jesus' message spread and how the New Testament was formed. We follow the Christian story to all corners of the globe, filling in often neglected accounts of conversions and confrontations in Africa and Asia. And we discover the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the rise of the evangelical movement from its origins in Germany and England. This audiobook encompasses all of intellectual history - we meet monks and crusaders, heretics and saints, slave traders and abolitionists, and discover Christianity's essential role in driving the enlightenment and the age of exploration, and shaping the course of World War I and World War II.

We are living in a time of tremendous religious awareness, when both believers and non-believers are deeply engaged by questions of religion and tradition, seeking to understand the violence sometimes perpetrated in the name of God. The son of an Anglican clergyman, MacCulloch writes with deep feeling about faith. His last book, The Reformation, was chosen by dozens of publications as Best Book of the Year and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. This awe-inspiring follow-up is a landmark new history of the faith that continues to shape the world.

©2010 Diamaid MacCulloch (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the critics say

"Assuming no previous knowledge on the part of readers about Christian traditions, MacCulloch traces in breathtaking detail the often contentious arguments within Christianity for the past 3,000 years. His monumental achievement will not soon be surpassed." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A work of exceptional breadth and subtlety." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Christianity

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    5 out of 5 stars

unique take and very well researched!

If you're curious about how Judaism and Greek Philosophy influenced early Christianity, this is for you! After that, he shows how Paul's teachings are different from what Jesus (and the Ebionites) taught. Provides a decent introduction to Gnosticism, and shows that the Early Church was full of various streams of thought, and that it wasn't until later that the nascent Catholic Church established primacy, hunted down Heretics and excommunicated the Eastern Orthodoxed Churches. I honestly don't care about anything other than Mysticism after the Medieval time period, but trends throughout Protestantism and more resent developments are exactly what others may be looking for, and these sections are equally well researched and presented, in ways that are easy for the laity to understand. This is a very good neutral, historical, non-denominational presentation, it isn't designed to strengthen faith, it just simply presents facts and lets you figure it out for yourself. This has really lit a fire in me, and I'll definitely be listening to some "great courses" on select aspects of the subject material that I want to know more about. Thanks for the fantastic introductory overview! Cheers.

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a thoughtful and detailed history worth revisiting

a great tour across the continents peoples and ages full of rich detail anecdote character sketches, and how the accidents and vicissitudes of history often direct a faith.

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Disappointed

Diarmaid MacCulloch's work demonstrates that the author has a comprehensive knowledge of the history surrounding the events that make up the history of Christianity. In addition his writing style is of a high quality and suitable for the academic environment. It would have been instructive had the description of this work included commentary on the author's negative bias with respect to the veracity of Christianity's principal text, the Bible. Soon into reading/listening to the book, one will realize that the author's view point is squeed towards poststructuralism. Upon discovering the author's bias and its inherent irrelevance to those who profess Christianity as their faith, I was unable to continue to listen to the recording and regretted its purchase.

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7 people found this helpful