- Tapa blanda: 1216 páginas
- Editor: Penguin; Edición: Trade Paperback (2 de septiembre de 2010)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1107040175
- ISBN-13: 978-0141021898
- ASIN: 0141021896
- Valoración media de los clientes: 1 opinión de cliente
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº61.531 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 2 sep 2010
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Diarmaid MacCulloch's epic, acclaimed history A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years follows the story of Christianity around the globe, from ancient Palestine to contemporary China.
How did an obscure personality cult come to be the world's biggest religion, with a third of humanity its followers? This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main facts, ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organization and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.
Taking in wars, empires, reformers, apostles, sects, churches and crusaders, Diarmaid MacCulloch shows how Christianity has brought humanity to the most terrible acts of cruelty - and inspired its most sublime accomplishments.
'A stunning tour de force'
Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year
'A landmark in its field, astonishing in its range, compulsively readable, full of insight ... It will have few, if any, rivals in the English language'
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Guardian
'A prodigious, thrilling, masterclass of a history book'
John Cornwell, Financial Times
'Essential reading for those enthralled by Christianity and for those enraged by it'
Melvyn Bragg, Observer, Books of the Year
'Magnificent ... a sumptuous portrait, alive with detail and generous in judgement'
Richard Holloway, The Times
Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University. His Thomas Cranmer won the Whitbread Biography Prize, the James Tait Black Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize. He is the author most recently of Reformation: Europe's House Divided 1490 - 1700, which won the Wolfson Prize for History and the British Academy Prize.
Nota de la solapa
Christianity, one of the world's great religions, has had an incalculable impact on human history. This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organisation and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.
Diarmaid MacCulloch ranges from Palestine in the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century and from San Francisco to Korea in the twentieth. He is one of the most widely travelled of Christian historians and conveys a sense of place as arrestingly as he does the power of ideas. He presents the development of Christian history differently from any of his predecessors. He shows how, after a semblance of unity in its earliest centuries, the Christian church divided during the next 1400 years into three increasingly distanced parts, of which the western Church was by no means always the most important: he observes that at the end of the first eight centuries of Christian history, Baghdad might have seemed a more likely capital for worldwide Christianity than Rome. This is the first truly global history of Christianity.
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To say I'm happy I read it is an understatement. It is a slog, being of a size normally reserved for the door-blocks belted out by authors of high fantasy. It took me (a reasonably fast reader) over three months to read properly. I took plenty of breaks for long trawls on Wikipedia, when persons or subjects explored in the book caught my fancy though.
The style of the book is lucid yet academical. While it reads more like a story than a textbook of history, there are copious footnotes that make up nearly half the volume of the Kindle edition I read. There is also a well curated selection of photographs/ plates that add to the reading experience. I mean it as a compliment when I say that while reading it I wasn't sure if the author was himself a believer or not because he's found the right mix of passionate story-telling, dispassionate description, and at a times, tongue in cheek jibing.
As the sub-title suggests, this covers about 3000 years of history from the pre-Christian era to the final chapter that looks at the period from the 1960s to the George W Bush presidency in the US. That is a vast span, which the book nimbly covers.
It starts in the pre-Christian era, and describes the Greek (and Roman) influences alongside the Jewish heritage that went into the melting pot of ideas that was the early Christian Church. Without dwelling too much on the historicity of the life of Jesus, it covers what few facts of his life are known, and moves on swiftly to matters of doctrine and creed and dogma. It lays before you an array of beliefs - sects, prophets, heresies, ideas come and go and Christianity swiftly evolves into several branches - the 'Catholic', the Orthodox, and eventually the smorgasbord of Protestant faiths.
To my delight as a etymology fan, along the way it shows the origin of such words as "Presbyterian" (from the Greek presbytoros or elder) "Episcopal" (from the Greek episkopos or overseer). It also delighted me as a trivia fan by revealing quirky things like the "Jesus Messiah Sutra", authored in the local sutra style by some of the first missionaries in China.
There were a lot of surprises for me as I read through the book, the sutra being just an oddity. The presentation of Rome, Istanbul, and Moscow as the three centers of Christianity one after the other was a surprise, as was the overall history of the Orthodox Churches of the East, and of such other lesser known (to me) churches such as the Bulgarian. Each variant (from the earliest schisms at the Council of Chalcedon to the modern phenomenon that is Mormonism) finds mention and some explication in this book; no mean feat in itself.
My only complaint was that this book did not spend more time discussing the 20th and 21st century. Although it mentions or name-drops every 'hot topic' I had expected to find mentioned - be it the abuse of children by priests, or the Evangelical interest in the Israel/ Palestine issue - I found myself wanting more discussion and elaboration on some of the points. That said, I do understand that in a work that covers 3000 years of history, such a focus might be puzzling, even off-putting to some.
I think this is a must read for anyone interested in history or religion. It is one of those books that informs and changes your world-view. I have more respect for some aspects of Christianity after reading it, but reading the long and blood-soaked history, when so much of the blood was shed on what seem to me inane questions, was depressing. My exhilaration at learning so much was therefore tempered. So what if the author closes on a hopeful note?