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Starred Review. Revisionist history is always great fun, and never more so than when it is persuasively and cogently argued. Jenkins, the Penn State history professor whose bookThe Next Christendommade waves several years ago, argues that it's not exactly a new thing that Christianity is making terrific inroads in Asia and Africa. A thousand years ago, those continents were more Christian than Europe, and Asian Christianity in particular was the locus of tremendous innovations in mysticism, monasticism, theology and secular knowledge. The little-told story of Christianity's decline in those two continents—hastened by Mongol invasions, the rise of Islam and Buddhism, and internecine quarrels—is sensitively and imaginatively rendered. Jenkins sometimes challenges the assertions of other scholars, including Karen Armstrong and Elaine Pagels, but provides compelling evidence for his views. The book is marvelously accessible for the lay reader and replete with fascinating details to help personalize the ambitious sweep of global history Jenkins undertakes. This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.(Nov.)
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ISBN-10:  0061472808
ISBN-13:  978-0061472800
Author:  John Philip Jenkins
Publisher:  HarperOne
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review by . December 09, 2008
Two thousands years removed from scene, when the Apostle Paul includes Asian Christians in the salutation to some of his epistles, it is easy to read with an ironic and chuckle, knowing that he is referring just to the Byzantine "East", and just for the next 500 years or so until the Middle East would be conquered and converted to Islam. We know that Christianity would only survive and thrive in the Roman west, becoming a European religion; after all, a majority of Americans can trace their roots …
review by . July 08, 2009
When the author states that most people only view the history of the Church through a European prism, I plead guilty. Learning Church history in high school, I was never taught anything else, and when Nestorians were mentioned it was always in the context of heresy.    Now I realize what a rich history I have been missing all of these years! I should mention, though, that when I was in my first (and only) year in the seminary we had a Mass conducted in Aramaic by a Maronite priest. …
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