All of us, whatever our individual beliefs, belong to a society shaped by the Christian tradition. It is an extraordinary history. Over the
centuries since the death of Christ, his followers have known adversity and defeat as well as glory and power – the victories of
Charlemagne, or the Crusades, matched by those of Hun, Moor, or Turk.
Christianity has borne persecution and division, each taking its terrible toll martyrs. It has assumed unexpected forms, from fourth-century
Arianism to seventeenth-century Quakerism. It has been the cause and the victim of war and holocaust. It has been challenged by the
findings of such scientists as Galileo and Darwin and – never more markedly than our own 21st century – by a progressive secularism.
Yet in every sphere of Western life and achievement – in our art and literature, our politics and our law, our philosophy – we find the
enduring legacy of the Christian experience.
Here is a sound, readable guide to Christianity as a whole – its origins, its revolutionary impact on human affairs, its development over
twenty-one centuries, its role as a fundamental, powerful force in our world and our lives.
The author, Roland Bainton, was a longtime professor of ecclesiastical history at Yale Divinity School. Noted for his lively, readable prose,
Bainton authored more than 30 books on Christianity including Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, which sold more than a million copies.
"Here is a comprehensive, critical portrait of Christianity from its beginnings to the present, warts and all. It is a synoptic portrait which
only a master could depict..The style is crisp and lively."
--James Luther Adams, author and professor emeritus, Harvard Divinity School
"A most impressive history."
--The New York Times
"Church history study, made dull too often, here becomes a rewarding experience."