The book explores the theme of Christianity thoroughly, but step-by-step, taking the reader through the early centuries where the Saints played major roles to spread the faith and inspire others, on to the arrival of St Augustine in the South and how the mission that followed led to the gradual ascendancy of the Church of Rome over the Celtic churches. It then takes the reader through the English Reformation, imparting facts and outlooks on the situation in an easy-to-understand way, exploring the religious dissent that followed for many centuries until society learned to live peaceably with religious differences. Finally we come to the twenty-first century, where traditional values have lapsed and secularisation has increased. And the story continues as Christians of every persuasion are challenged to respond to present issues.
A clear, well-laid out and thoroughly researched book that explains the progress of Christianity with an enthusiasm that should infect its reader, Anno Domini will interest the mind and inspire the heart.
Volume I, The Peoples of God, tells the story of the foundation and formation of the three monotheistic communities, of their visible, historical presence. Volume II, The Words and Will of God, is devoted to their inner life, the spirit that animates and regulates them.
Peters takes us to where these religions live: their scriptures, laws, institutions, and intentions; how each seeks to worship God and achieve salvation; and how they deal with their own (orthodox and heterodox) and with others (the goyim, the pagans, the infidels). Throughout, he measures--but never judges--one religion against the other. The prose is supple, the method rigorous. This is a remarkably cohesive, informative, and accessible narrative reflecting a lifetime of study by a single recognized authority in all three fields.
The Monotheists is a magisterial comparison, for students and general readers as well as scholars, of the parties to one of the most troubling issues of today--the fierce, sometimes productive and often destructive, competition among the world's monotheists, the siblings called Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
In Keepers of the Keys of Heaven, eminent religion scholar Roger Collins offers a masterful account of the entire arc of papal history—from the separation of the Greek and Latin churches to the contemporary controversies that threaten the unity of the one billion-strong worldwide Catholic community. A definitive and accessible guide to what is arguably the world's most vaunted office, Keepers of the Keys of Heaven is essential reading for anyone interested in the role of faith in the shaping of our world.
In this masterful history, Diarmaid MacCulloch conveys the drama, complexity, and continuing relevance of these events. He offers vivid portraits of the most significant individuals—Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Loyola, Henry VIII, and a number of popes—but also conveys why their ideas were so powerful and how the Reformation affected everyday lives. The result is a landmark book that will be the standard work on the Reformation for years to come. The narrative verve of The Reformation as well as its provocative analysis of American culture’s debt to the period will ensure the book’s wide appeal among history readers.
William C. Placher.is to be congratulated for having done what many would have considered impossible. In slightly more than 300 pages he has chronicled the whole history of Christian theology, from its background in the history of Israel to the various modes of liberation theology in the late 20th century. Moreover, he has touched almost all of the important bases and has dealt with significant figures, issues, movements in an incisive and illuminating manner. This intellectual history, a story of people and their ideas, is a delight to read. I predict it will be widely used not only in college and seminaries, but also in lay institutes and study groups. -- John D. Godsey in The Christian Century
The Babylonian Talmud, a postbiblical Jewish text that is part scripture and part commentary, is an unlikely bestseller. Written in a hybrid of Hebrew and Aramaic, it is often ambiguous to the point of incomprehension, and its subject matter reflects a narrow scholasticism that should hardly have broad appeal. Yet the Talmud has remained in print for centuries and is more popular today than ever. Barry Scott Wimpfheimer tells the remarkable story of this ancient Jewish book and explains why it has endured for almost two millennia.
Providing a concise biography of this quintessential work of rabbinic Judaism, Wimpfheimer takes readers from the Talmud's prehistory in biblical and second-temple Judaism to its present-day use as a source of religious ideology, a model of different modes of rationality, and a totem of cultural identity. He describes the book's origins and structure, its centrality to Jewish law, its mixed reception history, and its golden renaissance in modernity. He explains why reading the Talmud can feel like being swept up in a river or lost in a maze, and why the Talmud has come to be venerated--but also excoriated and maligned—in the centuries since it first appeared.
An incomparable introduction to a work of literature that has lived a full and varied life, this accessible book shows why the Talmud is at once a received source of traditional teachings, a touchstone of cultural authority, and a powerful symbol of Jewishness for both supporters and critics.
The author of The Divine Name in the Bible surveys the immense literature on this subject, and traces the use of various names for deity in Israel from patriarchal times onwards, with special attention to the significance of the Tetragrammaton, which in course of time, became the name by which the God of Israel was known. Various aspects of the theological meaning of the name in the Old Testament writings are explored. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Jewish Talmudic literature, and later mystical writings are also examined. The translators of the Old Testament into Greek used Kyrios as the equivalent for YHWH—with implications for the New Testament understanding of the person of Jesus Christ, reflected also in subsequent Christological formulations.