Top positive review
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I cannot recommend this more to anyone interested in religion, whether Judaism, Islam or the Christianity of the title.
on 4 September 2014
Wow, just when we thought Islam was complicated with the various factions of Sunni and Shia fighting each other all over the world, and among themselves too, this history of Christianity shows a birth of a religion even more fractured than the basic split in Islam over the succession to the Prophet Mohammed.
I suppose it is just luck that there is not much infighting today (well the sort with guns) between the various beliefs in Christianity and new factions and beliefs are still emerging. Could this be because the Christians have sated their blood lust against each other many years ago or do we take the old view that in war both parties claim that God is on their side. Mohammed never claimed to be a man of peace and indeed his religion was founded on his successful wars against the surrounding tribes. Jesus came as a man of peace and, arguably, more have been slain in the name of Christianity than any other cause.
This is a very well written book and it is not difficult to read despite being an outstanding piece of scholarship. However, the sheer weight of information and the complexity of the disagreements between the various factions with the resulting schisms that have made the Christian Church what it is today make the book something that needs to be read slowly and with total concentration in order to understand the complicated links between one theory and the next which are all that one can call the ever-changing beliefs in these religions.
I have started to re-read this book it is so good but you would have to be a divinity student not to intersperse this with something a little more lighthearted.