Read Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens And Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe by Philip Jenkins Free Online
Book Title: Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens And Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe|
The author of the book: Philip Jenkins
ISBN 13: 9780281063338
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 849 KB
Date of issue: June 1st 2010
Read full description of the books:Honestly, I struggled a bit to get through this. The history is convoluted, involving dozens of religious, civil and military leaders over hundreds of years, and the intricate political machinations are dizzying and difficult to keep track of, not to mention the complicated theological disputes about the Trinity, Christology, and Mary. Dr. Jenkins includes maps at the beginning and several appendices that list the dramatis personae, briefly explain the outcomes of the several councils, and define the beliefs of various groups, but a more visual representation of the timeline would have been helpful, too.
In my simplistic understanding, I believed that the Council at Nicea was the main event where orthodox Christian theology was settled. In actuality, that council, held in 325, was just the first of several major councils that redefined "orthodoxy" in an almost constant back-and-forth between various centers of power and influence. Dozens of schisms multiplied the number of churches and belief systems within Christianity. "At least since the apostles left Jerusalem, at no point in Christian history has one single church plausibly claimed the loyalty of all believers to the exclusion of rival institutions. In the mid-fourth century, perhaps half of all Christians belonged to some group that the Great Church regarded as heretical or schismatic, and new splits continued to form." It wasn't at all a foregone conclusion that Rome would come out ahead; sees in Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople all expressed their claims for supremacy, too. In addition to the struggles within Christianity, there were external threats as well, from Attila the Hun, Zoroastrian Persia, and a brand new religion on the scene in the 600s: Islam. Early on, the influence of pagan religions and Judaism were also frequently felt.
The theological differences between the various factions sometimes seem like hair-splitting trivialities, but Dr. Jenkins explains that "the largest single mental marker separating the premodern or medieval world from our own was the belief that earthly error had cosmic implications...If, as they believed, errors arose from sinful pride or diabolical subversion, then tolerating them attracted God's anger, as expressed through different forms of worldly catastrophe: famine, drought, plague, floods and earthquakes, or defeat in war...A regime that tolerated heresy, immorality, and error would suffer, and nobody could complain against this fulfillment of God's essential justice."
And reverberations are felt today. "The history of Christian belief is a story of resurrections without end...Even when no conceivable connection exists between ancient and modern thought, the same ideas resurface unbidden." Many of the diametrically opposed arguments and schools of thought that caused such turmoil in the fourth and fifth centuries continue to show up in various denominations today. In closing, Dr. Jenkins suggests that "in an ideal world, free of the power struggles of antiquity, that dialogue can itself be a positive thing, a way in which Christian thought develops its own self-understanding. A religion that is not constantly spawning alternatives and heresies has ceased to think and has achieved only the peace of the grave."
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Read information about the authorJohn Philip Jenkins was born in Wales in 1952. He was educated at Clare College, in the University of Cambridge, where he took a prestigious “Double First” degree—that is, Double First Class Honors. In 1978, he obtained his doctorate in history, also from Cambridge. Since 1980, he has taught at Penn State University, and currently holds the rank of Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of the Humanities. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion.
Though his original training was in early modern British history, he has since moved to studying a wide range of contemporary topics and issues, especially in the realm of religion.
Jenkins is a well-known commentator on religion, past and present. He has published 24 books, including The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South and God's Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe's Religious Crisis (Oxford University Press). His latest books, published by HarperOne, are The Lost History of Christianity and Jesus Wars (2010).
His book The Next Christendom in particular won a number of honors. USA Today named it one of the top religion books of 2002; and Christianity Today described The Next Christendom as a “contemporary classic.” An essay based on this book appeared as a cover story in the Atlantic Monthly in October 2002, and this article was much reprinted in North America and around the world, appearing in German, Swiss, and Italian magazines.
His other books have also been consistently well received. Writing in Foreign Affairs in 2003, Sir Lawrence Freedman said Jenkins's Images of Terror was “a brilliant, uncomfortable book, its impact heightened by clear, restrained writing and a stunning range of examples.”
Jenkins has spoken frequently on these diverse themes. Since 2002, he has delivered approximately eighty public lectures just on the theme of global Christianity, and has given numerous presentations on other topics. He has published articles and op-ed pieces in many media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New Republic, Foreign Policy, First Things, and Christian Century. In the European media, his work has appeared in the Guardian, Rheinischer Merkur, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Welt am Sonntag, and the Kommersant (Moscow). He is often quoted in news stories on religious issues, including global Christianity, as well as on the subject of conflicts within the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, and controversies concerning cults and new religious movements. The Economist has called him “one of America's best scholars of religion.”
Over the last decade, Jenkins has participated in several hundred interviews with the mass media, newspapers, radio, and television. He has been interviewed on Fox's The Beltway Boys, and has appeared on a number of CNN documentaries and news specials covering a variety of topics, including the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, as well as serial murder and aspects of violent crime. The 2003 television documentary Battle for Souls (Discovery Times Channel) was largely inspired by his work on global Christianity. He also appeared on the History Channel special, Time Machine: 70s Fever (2009).
Jenkins is much heard on talk radio, including multiple appearances on NPR's All Things Considered, and on various BBC and RTE programs. In North America, he has been a guest on the widely syndicated radio programs of Diane Rehm, Michael Medved, and James Kennedy; he has appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air, as well as the nationally broadcast Canadian shows Tapestry and Ideas. His media appearances include newspapers and radio stations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Brazil, as well as in many different regions of the United States.
Because of its relevance to policy issues, Jenkins's work has attracted the attention of gove
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