By Geoffrey Blainey
A quick heritage of Christianity vividly describes some of the major gamers within the religion’s upward thrust and fall during the a long time, from Jesus himself to Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Francis Xavier, John Wesley, or even the Beatles, who claimed to be “more renowned than Jesus.” Blainey takes us into the area of Christian worshipers during the ages—from housewives to stonemasons—and strains the increase of the critics of Christ and his followers.
Eminently readable, and written with Blainey’s attribute interest and storytelling ability, this booklet usually locations Christianity on the heart of worldwide historical past. Will it stay close to the heart? Blainey’s narrative illustrates that Christianity’s background is a much-repeated tale of ups and downs.
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Extra info for A Short History of Christianity
This was first courageously demonstrated in 1958 by Robert Cross, a Protestant writing one of the best books on the history of American Catholicism. It is easy to think of a Catholic doing excellent work on Mormonism, an Episcopalian dealing sympathetically with Boston Unitarianism, a Mormon writing with insight about New England Calvinism. It is impossible to say how many of the best books in religious history are written by agnostics; certainly many of them, possibly most. But that is not quite all I want to say.
Rigorous standards of content, language, and typography often kept him and his young proteges at work in the Review office until two or three in the morning. A very small subsidy from the University had to be supplemented by passing the hat for printing and other costs. Reliance on private donors of course necessitated some caution in subject matter; the magazine left religion alone and its occasional political articles dealt with the Al Smith campaign, the early Roosevelt program, or the problems of foreign policy in fairly neutral tones.
Certainly among historians it is now generally regarded as crude to be rude in talking about religion. It is still much easier to be respectful when talking about times past. The idea that science, somehow in alliance with broadening democracy, has made religion impossible dies very hard. In discussing the present, there is a tendency among academics to fear Fundamentalism, and sometimes to identify all evangelical Protestantism with the political Far Right. "7 That seems to be what Fundamentalists themselves 3° Religion and American Intellectual History, 1945—85 think.