Wednesday, May 30, 2012

History of Christianity

Herring, George. Introduction to the History of Christianity. New York Univ. 2006. Photogs. Maps. Index. ISBN 0-8147-3099-8. $70; pap. ISBN 0-8147-3700-5 $22.

This is the author's version of a work that was submitted/accepted for publication in the following source:

Shaffett, J. E. Christian Librarian 50:139 no. 3 2007

George Herring is the author of What Was the Oxford Movement? He is a Church historian who studied at Leicester University and Keble College, Oxford. He has taught history in higher education for over 20 years.

This book is “beautifully crafted and clearly written” introduction to the history of Christianity. It adopts an approach that is different from many general Church histories in terms of “length, structure and presentation.” It looks in detail at three 200-year periods—“Christ and Caesar, Christianity Circa 300-500,” “Expansion and Order, Latin Christendom, Circa 1050-1250,” and “Grace and Authority, Western Christianity, Circa 1450-1650.” Each of these three sections is preceded by an introduction. The book includes maps, quotations from primary source material, and a further reading section.

George Herring has written a well-researched book that places the history of the Christian church in its historical context. He shows how sacred and secular interacted with each other and influenced each other. He intended this book to be read by more than just undergraduate students. He has “assumed only the most basic understanding on the part of the reader.” 

Added comments on May, 30, 2012: 

What I particularly like about this book is that instead of a summary of two thousand years of church history, Herring's book "focuses" on three 200 year periods of church history that "were critical for the development of Western Christianity." This book would be a good companion to a book that covers the 2000 yeas of the history of Christianity. One I would recommend is Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley.

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