Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome ebook or PDF BY Rodney Stark

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How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers Who listened to this good news and who ignored it Where did Christianity spread and how Based on uantitative data and the latest scholarship preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the worldDrawing on both archaeological and historical evidence Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Rom A brilliant and elegant refuation of many of the most prevelant theories surrounding the nature and origin of Christianity Why are members of non Abrahamic religions called pagans How did Christianity become an imperial power Why did the elite and the intelligentsia engage in Christian exegesis All explored herein

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Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome

E devoted to Isis the Egyptian goddess of love and magic and to Cybele the fertility goddess of Asia Minor actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman EmpireContrary to generations of historians the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire it allowed no female members and attracted only soldiersBy analyzing concrete data Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of than one third of the earth's populati This was uite a bit technical and polemic than I was expecting which is not necessarily a bad thing but is certainly an interesting combination the reader should know aboutFirst Stark devotes a significant portion of the book to methodology even explaining statistical regression and how it applies to historical research Some will find this helpful others will be bored out of their minds If you are expecting historical cultural background then be warned though some of that is definitely present Stark is interested in providing hard uantitative data even while acknowledging the difficulties of applying it to history This all does well to buffer his conclusions but the reader should know that some technical writing is aheadSecond the polemicsthis is where I could imagine many being turned off Stark clearly has a bone to pick with popular historical theories and leftist academic orthodoxy and he does not try to hide his disgust Even as someone who is largely in agreement with him I found the tone to be a bit grating so know this going inAll that said I am glad Stark is writing at a mostly popular level with this stuff His arguments are both compelling and convincing and certainly enriched my own understanding of the first generations of Christians the cultural setting in which the faith was born the activities of the first apostles and why the faith may have taken root the way it did His data on heretical movements is also extremely rich and sheds a lot of light on pop conspiracy theories about the Gnostics and the early churchSo if you are interested in history particularly the early church and can stomach some hard data methodology and a polemical tone then this is an easy recommendation

Rodney Stark µ 4 review

An Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its headContrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars Gnosticism was not a sophisticated authentic form of Christianity but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize ChristianityPaul was called the apostle to the Gentiles but mostly he converted JewsPaganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of ChristianityThe oriental faiths such as thos Too rare are intellectuals of minority and unpopular conviction who can back up their hypotheses with uantitative data Rodney Stark s analysis of the movements of early Christian history refutes trendy gnostic claims and the preferences of those who will not count the facts evident on the ground


10 thoughts on “Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome

  1. says:

    This book wasn't at all what I expected I thought I would learn a lot about cities in the Greco Roman world how Christianity developed in those areas what churches might have looked like in those contexts etc In

  2. says:

    Like his previous books this one is well worth readingStark disproves many currently popular views about early Christianity such as 'Christians forced paganism out of existence' and 'pagan beliefs produced Christian thought'Stark also debunks the myth that Gnosticism represents a authentic Christianity He shows that Gnostic writers are known to have gathered only small schools of devotees They were not an alternative Christianity They we

  3. says:

    A brilliant and elegant refuation of many of the most prevelant theories surrounding the nature and origin of Christianity Why are members of non Abrahamic religions called pagans How did Christianity become an imperial power Why did the elite and the intelligentsia engage in Christian exegesis All explored herein

  4. says:

    Too rare are intellectuals of minority and unpopular conviction who can back up their hypotheses with uantitative data Rodney Stark’s analysis of the movements of early Christian history refutes trendy gnostic cl

  5. says:

    A sociologist Dr Stark uses an approach to history in this book that I have never seen before He uses statistical analysis of availa

  6. says:

    I like Rodney Stark’s books He writes well is clear and documents his work Recently I finished Cities of God a rather scientific book about the rise of Christianity His thesis which he proves with uantitative research is

  7. says:

    I had a difficult time fighting the urge to put this book down throughout the first chapter The beginning of the book is laid out much

  8. says:

    This was uite a bit technical and polemic than I was expecting which is not necessarily a bad thing but is cert

  9. says:

    Wow A book that makes history fall into place with a resounding KerchunkThe author uses a statistical analysis techniue to clearly demonstrate the slow growth of Christianity in the first three hundred years as opposed to

  10. says:

    Thesis not supported by the bookI have enjoyed Rodney a Stark’s books in the past and looked forward to this one However instead of a treatise on how Christianity progressed in the 1st and 2nd centuries after Jesus it was an analysis of the different religions that existed at that time Only about 14 actually de