AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Christian State Hardcover – 7 Feb 2008
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`The Closing of the Christian Mind' -- New Humanist
A provoking - and timely - examination of one of the most important moments in Church history.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There is much to commend the book, and the case is well argued using suitable source material. However, to my interested layman's mind (I have read a fair bit on the history of the age), the thesis fails ultimately because of the tendency to focus too much on some specifics and to think more highly of the previous situation than is deserved. The golden age of critical thinking and toleration is asserted, but it is not at all clear that such really ever existed. Neither is it clear that the decrees of Theodosius can be blamed for closing it down.
I note the review above by Dr Richard Price, which reveals some specific issues. As this is beyond my field, I would defer to his knowledge - guardedly because we should never believe anyone just because they are an authority. But the reader of this book must ultimately decided for themselves whether the author has actually discovered something the other academics have all overlooked or whether he has perhaps overstated the case a little.
Ultimately though this is a very interesting book as a starting point of a greater debate and re-evaluation about the early church history. Why should we let the academic world have all the fun with that debate?
A very well-written book and accessible to the layman. A must read for the serious student of Church history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a VERY interesting and thought-provoking book. While Freeman's assessments of certain historical events are clearly biased, the overall message of the book comes across as... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ole Jørgen Anfindsen
Freeman writes about a topic that invites a Michael Caine type response: "not a lot of people knew that. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2014 by Alan Hawkes
First of all, I thoroughly recommend this book - Freeman is an excellent story teller and interweaves a compelling argument with the available evidence. Read morePublished on 1 Jan. 2014 by Euclidean Norm
AD 381 makes arcane theological disputes surprisingly intelligible and compelling. Fortunately the book ventures well beyond AD 381 and provides fascinating portraits of many of... Read morePublished on 12 May 2013 by James R. Modrall
This book about religion and state in the Roman Empire during the 4th century AD is written by the British historian Charles Freeman, who is the author of several books about the... Read morePublished on 20 April 2011 by Torben Retboll
AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Christian State
This is one of the most intellectually stimulating books I have read for many years. Read more
It's disconcerting when an author uses the Preface to what is intended as a serious historical work to emphasise that he is a tour guide rather than an academic. Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2008 by Mr. C. E. Moreton
A thought provoking read with lots of obscure detail but, and it's a big but, it drags along. For me it doesn't flow well and I found myself skipping pages. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2008 by Ludovico Sforza