Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100-400)

Christianizing the Roman Empire A D How did the early Christian church manage to win its dominant place in the Roman world In his newest book an eminent historian of ancient Rome examines this question from a secular rather than an ecc
  • Title: Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100-400)
  • Author: Ramsay MacMullen
  • ISBN: 9780300036428
  • Page: 368
  • Format: Paperback
  • Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100-400)
    How did the early Christian church manage to win its dominant place in the Roman world In his newest book, an eminent historian of ancient Rome examines this question from a secular rather than an ecclesiastical viewpoint MacMullen s provocative conclusion is that mass conversions to Christianity were based on the appeal of miracle or the opportunity for worldly advHow did the early Christian church manage to win its dominant place in the Roman world In his newest book, an eminent historian of ancient Rome examines this question from a secular rather than an ecclesiastical viewpoint MacMullen s provocative conclusion is that mass conversions to Christianity were based on the appeal of miracle or the opportunity for worldly advantages than simply on a rising tide of Christian piety Provocative to the Christian religious scholar and the nonreligious historian alike MacMullen s style is lucid, and the story of a period with its own innate interest is narrated with compelling feeling It is an important book, and highly recommended for the general reader of history as well as the Christian who wonders how the Jesus movement came, by Constantine s time, to be the church we know Choice Written in a fresh and vigorous style, this book offers an admirable survey of some major aspects of the history of the early Christian church Robert M Grant, New York Times Book Review Gently provocative MacMullen has written an instructive and enjoyable book on a great theme Henry Chadwick, Times Literary Supplement A carefully argued and well written study Jackson P Hershbell, Library Journal
    Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100-400) By Ramsay MacMullen,
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    About " Ramsay MacMullen "

  • Ramsay MacMullen

    Ramsay MacMullen is an Emeritus Professor of history at Yale University, where he taught from 1967 to his retirement in 1993 as Dunham Professor of History and Classics His scholarly interests are in the social history of Rome and the replacement of paganism by Christianity.

  • 104 Comments

  • I have to say I am disappointed in this book Its title and the author s pedigree promise quite a bit, but in the end it delivers only a small package, and not a particularly well written one at that For most general readers I would suggest go to the final chapter, his summary, which is the most well organized and most clearly argued one in the book Then read as you see fit MacMullen is defensive of pagan religion and dismissive of ecclesiastical history of the time period He seeks to provide a d [...]


  • There is a slight problem with MacMullan s slightly casual, sometimes jokey, way of expressing himself You can sometimes wonder what he is actually asserting That said this is a very compact and readable book on a very large and important subject His scholarship is superb, though he wisely keeps the evidential apparatus to the notes He has mastered a vast area of evidence, has a detailed knowledge of the pagan world that Christianity so comprehensively vanquished, respects the moral and intellec [...]


  • This is a brief survey of what it meant to be converted during the early centuries of Christianity, including the change in conversion s meaning surrounding the time of Constantine.MacMullen s thesis is conversion is an affair involving the intellect and the will only a person exchanges belief in and allegiance from one god or gods to another Conversion does not necessarily involve either purity of belief or instruction in the new doctrine It results from the seeing or hearing in any case, the b [...]


  • What we can no longer see, we cannot report This is Ramsay MacMullen s thesis as presented in his book, Christianizing the Roman Empire A.D 100 400 MacMullen successfully supports his thesis by intelligently and objectively analyzing the rise of Christianity in the early Roman Empire, criticizing the growth of the church from the viewpoint of a non Christian or, importantly, a historian carefully analyzing factual evidence in all available forms While, at times, MacMullen s book may be viewed a [...]


  • A dispassionate, evidence based appraisal of how the church managed to grow so explosively between A.D 100 400 He self consciously avoids theological matters and keeps the examination on historical matters The strength of the approach is that it exposes the theological biases of competing approaches The weakness is that truth is part theological and so he forces himself to avoid some matters that really might bear on his examination Very dry, but well worth reading.


  • MacMullen tries to see religion through the eyes of Romans In his view, Christianity first spread through the demonstration of miracles a concept that Pagans could understand your God is powerful than my God But then, MacMullen believes, Constantine converted and there started to be financial and social benefits to conversion He looks at the role of coercion in conversion as well An interesting, short book.



  • MacMullen s is the best study of this period It s an essential volume for the student of late antiquity or early Christianity, but is suitable for the general reader as well.


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