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
"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)
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."
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.
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
I will not try another book by Diarmaid MacCulloch. The narrator, Walter Dixon, does a fine job.
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.
The narration is fine.
Very Good Listen and explains a lot about what is happening today in Religious Turmoil.
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.
"I listen to learn"!
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.
Only those who believe Christianity is a man-made religion.
God is absent and he spends the entire time debunking every Christian truth.
no...he is an atheist.
Pity...that someone so educated had such a hatred for God
If you are a Christian, stay away from this book.
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.
Too many historical inaccuracies to be taken as a credible read.
Walter Dixon is an excellent narrator, and once again did a fine job reading subject book.
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.
Audible should refund credits anytime its products are this bad.
If you are interested in a secular approach to generalized history
Winners Never Cheat
inaccurate references to scripture an the "alleged" sayings or "alleged beliefs."
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.
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