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Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years | [Diarmaid MacCulloch]

Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

Once in a generation, a historian will redefine his field, producing a book that demands to be read or heard - a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill. Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book. Breathtaking in ambition, it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world, following the three main strands of the Christian faith.
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Publisher's Summary

Once in a generation, a historian will redefine his field, producing a book that demands to be read and heard - a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill. Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book. Breathtaking in ambition, it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world, following the three main strands of the Christian faith.

Christianity will teach modern listeners things that have been lost in time about how Jesus' message spread and how the New Testament was formed. We follow the Christian story to all corners of the globe, filling in often neglected accounts of conversions and confrontations in Africa and Asia. And we discover the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the rise of the evangelical movement from its origins in Germany and England. This audiobook encompasses all of intellectual history - we meet monks and crusaders, heretics and saints, slave traders and abolitionists, and discover Christianity's essential role in driving the enlightenment and the age of exploration, and shaping the course of World War I and World War II.

We are living in a time of tremendous religious awareness, when both believers and non-believers are deeply engaged by questions of religion and tradition, seeking to understand the violence sometimes perpetrated in the name of God. The son of an Anglican clergyman, MacCulloch writes with deep feeling about faith. His last book, The Reformation, was chosen by dozens of publications as Best Book of the Year and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. This awe-inspiring follow-up is a landmark new history of the faith that continues to shape the world.

©2010 Diamaid MacCulloch (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"Assuming no previous knowledge on the part of readers about Christian traditions, MacCulloch traces in breathtaking detail the often contentious arguments within Christianity for the past 3,000 years. His monumental achievement will not soon be surpassed." (Publishers Weekly)

"A work of exceptional breadth and subtlety." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (420 )
5 star
 (162)
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4.0 (242 )
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4.0 (237 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Anthony Ardmore, PA, United States 07-26-12
    Anthony Ardmore, PA, United States 07-26-12 Member Since 2010

    tonydm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Expansive vs edited/Narrator & pronunciation"

    MacCulloch offers an expansive study but one that may have benefited by a bit more careful editing. Passages that seem more like footnotes or side thoughts invade anachronistically. The text is very unbiased and straightforward, a proper quality that in this case renders the reading rather monotonous. The real problem with this recording, as with so many history texts that demand a reader with an academic background suitable to the material as well as a basic knowledge of Latin and other Romance languages, is that the reading is riddled with mispronunciations. The most irritating is the slurring of the words "Christian" and "Christianity" to "Chris-chen" and Chris-chee-an-i-ty."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David knoxville, TN, United States 07-25-11
    David knoxville, TN, United States 07-25-11
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    "Great Disappointment"

    If you're looking for an unbiased historical analysis of the History of Christianity, this is not the book. The author continually takes shots at Christianity throughout the book. For all the detail he provides, he continually fails to provide evidence for many of the comments/ shots he takes at Christianity. The author's biases were so apparent that they inhibited his ability to properly present a strong documented historical analysis of Christianity. I can read just about anything and look for positive take aways from a book. I have never rated a book this poorly, but this book was a waste of time and money.

    14 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Hamburg, PA, United States 09-08-10
    Eric Hamburg, PA, United States 09-08-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Not my cup of tea"

    This author starts from the assumption that Judism and Christianity are not true; that the Bible is not reliable. I could only listen to the first 2 chapters before that bias stopped me

    32 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Domeny 05-26-12
    Doug Domeny 05-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Jesus Seminar shares similar perspective"
    Would you try another book from Diarmaid MacCulloch and/or Walter Dixon?

    I will not try another book by Diarmaid MacCulloch. The narrator, Walter Dixon, does a fine job.


    What was most disappointing about Diarmaid MacCulloch’s story?

    Diarmaid MacCulloch has an imaginative interpretation--not an asset for an historian. The author makes controversial assertions without providing evidence. MacCulloch virtually ignores internal evidence regarding the dating and authorship of biblical texts. For example, Daniel is assigned a late date, which of course, precludes Daniel as author. Attributes few of the New Testament (NT) letters "from Paul" as actually written by Paul. Additionally, inconsistencies are seen in the NT gospel accounts and in Paul's teaching compared with those of Jesus where none exist. Too many examples exist to enumerate them. I wonder whether MacCulloch has even given the NT a careful reading. I expected to disagree on some points of interpretation, but the author's bias is so extreme the book is almost comical.


    Have you listened to any of Walter Dixon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narration is fine.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick JESUP, GA, United States 09-10-12
    Patrick JESUP, GA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2011
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    3
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    "Great Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very Good Listen and explains a lot about what is happening today in Religious Turmoil.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris United States 06-16-12
    Chris United States 06-16-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as bad as many are claiming"

    The book started out strong with lots of interesting facts about pre-Christianity and early Christianity. The author wasn't even afraid to mix in some mildly controversial views. But as history progressed and entered into eras where there is more concrete evidence he degenerated into a litany of fact recitation with very little insight and opinion mixed in.

    Overall the book is absolutely comprehensive and I learned lots of things that I hadn't previously known - but I prefer my histories with a bit more insight. *Why* did history take the turns that it had or *Why* did people react in certain ways to certain events. The microscopic list of dates and names and places I find less interesting than some.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal Shreveport, LA United States 04-14-12
    Crystal Shreveport, LA United States 04-14-12 Member Since 2011

    "I listen to learn"!

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    "Not for transient listeners"
    What did you like best about Christianity? What did you like least?

    LOTS OF INSITE INTO EARLY CHRISTIANITY, BUT NOT SOMETHING I WOULD LISTEN TO WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO REALLY TAKE IN. THERE WAS ALOT OF INFORMATION AND I THINK IT IS MORE STUDY MATERIAL THAN JUST LISTENING MATERIAL. WOULD DO GREAT FOR OTHERS JUST NOT WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.


    If you’ve listened to books by Diarmaid MacCulloch before, how does this one compare?

    N/A


    Have you listened to any of Walter Dixon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    Could you see Christianity being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    NO


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy OAK GROVE, LA, United States 09-20-12
    Jeremy OAK GROVE, LA, United States 09-20-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I found this book offensive to Christianity"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Only those who believe Christianity is a man-made religion.


    What was most disappointing about Diarmaid MacCulloch’s story?

    God is absent and he spends the entire time debunking every Christian truth.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Walter Dixon’s performances?

    no...he is an atheist.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Pity...that someone so educated had such a hatred for God


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a Christian, stay away from this book.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Powder Springs, GA, United States 08-21-12
    Larry Powder Springs, GA, United States 08-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Diarmaid MacCulloch is not a serious Bible scholar"
    What would have made Christianity better?

    The author, Dairmaid MacCulloch, misquoted many basic Bible facts, that any child growing up attending Sunday school would know. I anticipated a well researched book, in which I would learn new information. However, the more I listened to this audio book, the continued historical inaccuracies became too much of an irritation to continue to listen.


    What was most disappointing about Diarmaid MacCulloch’s story?

    Too many historical inaccuracies to be taken as a credible read.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Walter Dixon is an excellent narrator, and once again did a fine job reading subject book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed that the author claimed expertise in a subject they barely knew. Sad in the knowledge that I wasted a credit on this author. There are several good books available on this subject, but don't waste your money on this one.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible should refund credits anytime its products are this bad.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd TOOELE, UTAH, United States 08-12-12
    Todd TOOELE, UTAH, United States 08-12-12 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    "A Secular Approach to Christian History"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you are interested in a secular approach to generalized history


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Winners Never Cheat


    Would you be willing to try another one of Walter Dixon’s performances?

    no


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Christianity?

    inaccurate references to scripture an the "alleged" sayings or "alleged beliefs."


    Any additional comments?

    I really struggled with the first 8 hours, trying to give the benefit of the doubt. If you are a Christian, it's not worth your time or money.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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