The Rise of Christianity: How to obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force ....

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Harper Collins, May 9, 1997 - Religion - 272 pages
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This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life.

"Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).

 

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Contents

CHAPTER
3
CHAPTER 2
29
CHAPTER 3
49
CHAPTER 4
73
CHAPTER 5
95
CHAPTER 6
129
CHAPTER 7
140
The Case of Antioch
147
CHAPTER 8
163
CHAPTER 9
191
CHAPTER 10
200
A Brief Reflection on Virtue
209
Notes
217
Bibliography
223
Index
243
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About the author (1997)

Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and codirector of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. His previous books include The Rise of Christianity, God's Battalions, Cities of God, and Discovering God, which won the 2008 Award of Merit for Theology/Ethics from Christianity Today.

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