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The Story of Christianity: A Celebration of 2,000 Years of Faith [Hardcover]

Michael Collins , Matthew Arlen Price
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing (Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789446057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789446053
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 22.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 562,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

To celebrate the Milennium
Just a note to say that I hope you enjoyThe Story of Christianity. Matt Price and I wrote this book to try and capture a flavour of Christianity and its contribution to the faith of millions and the pivotal role in civilisation. It is impossible to listen to the music of Bach or gaze on the amazing frescos of Michaelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and not be awestruck by the faith and culture which inspired them. The Christian centuries have been extraordinaly and alway surprising. The very first Christians were hunted down and many persecuted by the imperial system of the Roman Empire. But during the fourth century, the emperors converted to Christianity and the pagan temples were closed for worship. It was a squeeze to try and capture the flavour of the Christian centuries in just 240 pages. How do you do justice to the shameful deeds of the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition, or how do you adequately celebrate the achievements of the Renaissance and the spilt of European Christianity which followed? Not easy. And right up to the present day, the role which Christians played in the World Wars of the 20th century, and indeed the future of Christianity in the Third Milennium I believe that the history of Christianity has been made up of light and shade. When it was light, it was very light, when it was dark it was almost an eclipse. In any event, I hope you enjoy this book packed as it is with beautiful and facinating images chosen by Dorling Kindersley. They have done a magnificent job with which I think you will agree. Best wishes, Michael

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story... 23 Dec 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
DK Publishing, who have the past few years been building a reputation for accessible, beautifully-illustrated and well-organised survey books, have produced another good volume by Michael Collins and Matthew A. Price.
Drawing heavily on artwork contemporary with the historical period being covered, Collins and Price supplement the imagery with texts and other artwork gives a visual sense of the text (for instance, we have no contemporary portraits of Judas Maccabeus, so a painting from Paul Rubens - painted a millennium-and-a-half later - is used; however, Alexander the Great had many contemporary statues and images left, so these are used to show him).
DK books have an interesting organisation, that reminds me of a web page -- perhaps this is a deliberate intention on their part. Every page has a full-colour image. Every page has a side-bar, a separate box highlighting an important idea, event or person. Every page leads the reader through short pieces that connect well to a larger theme. Given the increasing short-attention span of many readers (even those who like to read), this kind of book can be useful at drawing people in and keeping them interested.
I give kudos to Collins and Price for including a significant chapter on Global Christianity. So many histories of Christianity end in the European/North American arena, with only lip service paid to other part of the world. Apart from this chapter, which covers theology and practice in the non-Eurocentric Christian churches, the authors pay attention to developments outside western Europe through the two millennia of history. Collins, a Catholic, and Price, a Protestant, have managed to be very inclusive of the wide spectrum of Christian belief and practice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great story... 3 Feb 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
DK Publishing, who have the past few years been building a reputation for accessible, beautifully-illustrated and well-organised survey books, have produced another good volume by Michael Collins and Matthew A. Price.
Drawing heavily on artwork contemporary with the historical period being covered, Collins and Price supplement the imagery with texts and other artwork gives a visual sense of the text (for instance, we have no contemporary portraits of Judas Maccabeus, so a painting from Paul Rubens - painted a millennium-and-a-half later - is used; however, Alexander the Great had many contemporary statues and images left, so these are used to show him).
DK books have an interesting organisation, that reminds me of a web page -- perhaps this is a deliberate intention on their part. Every page has a full-colour image. Every page has a side-bar, a separate box highlighting an important idea, event or person. Every page leads the reader through short pieces that connect well to a larger theme. Given the increasing short-attention span of many readers (even those who like to read), this kind of book can be useful at drawing people in and keeping them interested.
I give kudos to Collins and Price for including a significant chapter on Global Christianity. So many histories of Christianity end in the European/North American arena, with only lip service paid to other part of the world. Apart from this chapter, which covers theology and practice in the non-Eurocentric Christian churches, the authors pay attention to developments outside western Europe through the two millennia of history. Collins, a Catholic, and Price, a Protestant, have managed to be very inclusive of the wide spectrum of Christian belief and practice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the story of Christianity 7 Jan 2012
By anon
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Amazing purchase,helps put the bible events into prospective, well laid out and easy to read; the book was delivered within one week of ordering from the USA
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Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderful publication for anyone who has an interest in the Story of Christianity, not only a wonderful insight into Christian history, but also, a chronicle of Christian Art. Most enjoyable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, Despite Key Omissions! 15 Mar 2001
By Volkert Volkersz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A few years ago, my wife and I were looking for a book on the history of Christianity to help us in homeschooling our teenaged son. What made this a bit challenging is that my wife is a Protestant, and I had recently become an Orthodox Christian, so we wanted a book that treated our respective traditions objectively and with respect.
My wife came home from a conference sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools International with a copy of "The Story of Christianity." Since I'd seen textbooks in Protestant Christian schools with a not-so-subtle anti-Catholic bias, and that treated the Orthodox as virtually non-existent, I viewed this title with suspicion.
The first thing that began to set me at ease was that it had been written by two scholars, one Roman Catholic and the other Protestant. I figured that they would at least show respect for each other's traditions, which I quickly found to be true.
Next, I began taking a close look at the opening chapters dealing with early Church history, covering "The Roots of Christianity" (starting in the Old Testament) and going to "The Conversion of Europe" (including the Great Schism of 1054). What I found was an objective, fair treatment of the early days in both the East and the West, when there was general agreement throughout the Church on orthodoxy, as well as the tragic differences that developed due to cultural problems (such as language differences and poor communication, political shifts (such as moving the capital from Rome to what became known as Constantinople), and differences of opinion on the role of the papacy. With the final split in 1054, any hope of reconciliation ended with the Crusades from the West and the sack of Constantinople in 1204.
From this point on, the book takes on a spirit of bi-partisanship as it develops the history of Christianity in the West, giving a scant two pages per chapter to the Eastern Orthodox, covering the next 1000 years. While this beautiful volume might mainly be of interest to readers from the West, with its emphasis on the development of the Catholic Church and the many denominations of Protestantism, through the shortcoming of omission, many readers may be left with the impression that--since Eastern Orthodox worship is virtually unchanged in 1700 years--not much else has gone on in the East either.
However, if one pays attention to the captions and sidebars, the reader discovers tidbits about the East that deserve greater treatment than it gets here. One caption on "An Orthodox View of the Trinity" mentions the theological debate on the Trinity, which surrounds the statement in the Nicene Creed about the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father, but the text fails to amplify the controversy surrounding the filioque ("and the Son") added by the West, without the approval of an Ecumenical Council.
One also learns from other captions that "throughout the medieval period, the standard of education was far higher in Constantinople than in the West," or "for 1000 years Constantinople had been the home of the finest Greek scholars." If the Renaissance and Reformation get dozens of pages, why not the glorious Orthodox Byzantine Empire, the longest lasting empire in history? Why not spend more pages on the accomplishments of those fine Greek scholars?
Another caption states, "In the early 1700s missionaries from the Russian Orthodox church became active through the harsh region of Siberia," telling further how these efforts extended to Alaska in 1794 and "all the way down to San Francisco." This is an amazing missionary story that has yet to be read by most Westerners!
Brief mention is also made of Peter the Great's efforts to Westernize Russia, and in the process he almost dismantled the Russian Orthodox Church, the very institution that brought unity to this great, and vast, nation.
I'm also afraid that Western readers will be left with the impression that Orthodox Christians remain in the East, overlooking a growing Orthodox presence in the Western hemisphere, beginning with immigrant groups from Eastern Europe, as well as Arab Christians, but now attracting Westerners (like me) who have discovered the rich tradition of spirituality and worship within Orthodoxy.
The omissions in this book are too numerous to mention in detail, but don't get me wrong, I like this book! It's beautifully layed out, in the style of Dorling Kindersly's popular Eyewitness books, with colorful prints, drawings, maps and photographs on every page. In my opinion, this makes this volume superior to most Christian history textbooks. Also, I do think it treats all three major traditions respectfully, just not equally or proportionately.
I would still recommend that this book be in every Christian home (yes, even Orthodox), as it helps us to understand one another better. It would be attractive on a coffee table, and it is conducive to browsing. It would also be a welcome addition to church and school libraries...
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, lavshly illustrated, comprehensive, a must! 24 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This amazing book has absolutely delighted me. The obvious good feeling between a Catholic Priest and a lay protestant has given birth to a super overview of the history of Christianity. It is beautifully written, visually stùnning and a must read not only for those well versed in their religion but for those still seeking to enhance their knowledge. Kudos to the authors|
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 27 Jan 2000
By Paul Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Just to say how much I enjoyed this book. I got it as a Christmas present, and I am reading it, and enjoying it so much. The thing I like about it is that the text is simple and the pictures are really interesting. The graphics are great. It gives you an overview of the history of Christianity which I find so useful. I highly recommend this book which I have heard is already translated into several languages.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book 15 Sep 2000
By raphael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed this book very much. I had been searching for a good illustrated book on Christianity. I always liked Dorling Kindersley books and so when I saw this I had to get it. I am a teacher, and am teaching a course on Christianity. The text in this book is lively and engaging. In addition the illustrations are marvellous. What is most useful is the way the book manages to give a birdseye view of twenty centuries in which Christianity played such a pivotal role.
An excellent book. When are the authors going to bring out another one? Ray
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring book! 5 Aug 2002
By Wendy Eckard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While it's written to be a Reference book, I couldn't put it down! I read the entire book, including the marginal notes, over two days. It was fascinating reading, and I am in awe of how much research these gentlemen had to go thru to assemble such an enormous history! Equally impressive was how fairly they treated all of the different Protestant faiths.
Lastly, while I attend an Assemblies of God church, I have gained more respect for the Catholic church, as well as other denominations. I feel more 'connected' to other Christian faiths, and see how little really divides us. It definately kept me awake all night -- feeling full of joy!
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