The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries

The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries

The Rise of Christianity How the Obscure Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries 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 Chris

  • Title: The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries
  • Author: Rodney Stark
  • ISBN: 9780060677015
  • Page: 404
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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, secure way of life Compelling reading Library Journal that is sure to geneThis 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, 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 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 appealing, assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life Andrew M Greeley, University of Chicago.

    • Unlimited [Self Help Book] ☆ The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries - by Rodney Stark Ô
      404 Rodney Stark
    • thumbnail Title: Unlimited [Self Help Book] ☆ The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries - by Rodney Stark Ô
      Posted by:Rodney Stark
      Published :2019-04-25T04:18:50+00:00

    681 Comment

    Stark continues to impress; he's like Jenkins without the weird (and often-irrelevant) anti-Mormon bias. The premise of this book is: that neither the growth of Christianity nor the Christianization of the Roman Empire required divine or imperial intervention. He uses the information which we possess to demonstrate that the growth of Christianity occurred quite naturally, did not require any mass public conversions, and that Emperor Constantine's Edict of Toleration and death-bed conversion were [...]

    A really worthwhile read. Stark covers a lot of territory in explaining the rise of Christianity, from epidemics to class strata. Very fine work.

    An excellent synthesis of Stark's sociological work examining the rise of Christianity in the first few hundred years of its existence. His strength is bringing sociological theory to bear in explaining how Christianity rose from a few dozen disciples to a couple of billion. At the same time, he points out that Christian doctrine was essential to its sociological success; without it, Christianity wouldn't be here, and sociology wouldn't have anything to say about it. One aspect that could do wit [...]

    This book isn't worth anyone's time. Stark makes untenable assumptions about the numbers and growth rates of ancient Christianity. He clearly misundertands the context and complexity of life and religions in the ancient world. His conclusions are supersessionist and dangerous because the assumption of Christian "victory" is dangerous given the history of anti-Judaism, anti-Islamic, anti-pagan violence in antiquity, modernity and the contemporary political situation.The following is the conclusio [...]

    Coming from a professor at a secular institution, initially I thought it was a fairly academic and unbiased approach to early Christianity. There's an attempt to use social research methods to quantify and justify findings of early Christianity's rise among the middle class rather than the popular belief that Christianity rose among the poorest. However, I have come to be very skeptical of the author after his subsequent releases, which are titled (and I'm not making this up), "The Victory of Re [...]

    This is a solid book, a thoughtful and well-argued discussion about why Christianity eventually became the main religion of the West. Written from the perspective of a sociologist who has done extensive fieldwork in modern religions, The Rise of Christianity is an interesting and valuable contribution to people with an interest in late Classical and early Christian history.All in all, the book is highly favorable towards Christianity, at basically every turn arguing that specific beliefs and val [...]

    Question: how did a small, ragtag group of cultists who worshiped a deified Jesus became a powerful, world religion within only a few hundred years? This book provides an answer.As a sociologist of religion, Rodney Stark approaches the question of Christianity's rise from a demographics perspective. For example, he documents how early Christianity seems to have attracted a surplus of women vs. men. He then explains that intermarriages between Christian women and Pagan men offered opportunities f [...]

    The first book I would recommend for someone interested in the social structure of early Christianity. Stark demythologizes many of the modern assumptions and cultural "urban legends" regarding how Christianity rose to prominence.

    Stark's approach to analyzing the first century of Christian history is based on sociology. He isn't polemical or anti-spiritual, but takes the position that the remarkable growth of the early church can be better understood through a sociological lens than a purely supernatural one. Chapter 1 makes the case that Christianity grew at a rate that is acceptable from a sociological standpoint given modern examples of religious growth (the Mormons, in particular). Whereas the common narrative (that [...]

    This provocative study of the early Christian church made a bit of a splash when it appeared in the 1990s, though I've seen few references to it since then, even though the author's use of social-network analysis (an obscure concept twenty years ago) has become even more relevant in the Facebook era. Stark is a sociologist who admitted to limited expertise in history and theology, but nonetheless had read widely, thought deeply, and consequently could offer some useful hypotheses to explain the [...]

    This is a fascinating book, explaining the practical ways Christianity grew so quickly in just a few centuries. Some of these include: networks (conversion through relationships), epidemics, the role given to women (receiving protection, honor, rights), fertility (as set against the infanticide, abortion and birth control culture of Rome), concentrated ministry in cities of chaos and crisis, martyrdom and Christian rewards. I did not fully realize until reading this what a filthy, perverted, ter [...]

    An excellent sociologist's view about the factors that helped Christianity rise in the early church. While we all know the fact is that God and Christ are responsible for the growth of the church, this book helps me better understand what God used to set the foundations that helped the early church grow. Especially interesting is the contrast of the early Christian and Pagan worlds. Why do Christians take care of people with the plague while their pagan counterparts abandoned whole cities and fa [...]

    This was a great history book that did not feel like a history book. Stark does a great job keeping the chapters simple to understand and extremely interesting. My favorite quote in the book was:"Christianity did not grow because of miracle working in the marketplaces, although there may have been much of that going on, or because Constantine said it should, or even because the martyrs gave it such credibility. It grew because Christians constituted an intense community. The primary means of its [...]

    Three things I enjoyed most from the book:1) His accounting and analysis of the plagues that hit the empire in second and third centuries, and how that put Christians in a powerful position to "stand in the gap"d then fill it.2) The descriptions of cities and city life that the early church existed in3) The role that women and birth rates played in Christianization. I appreciated Stark's efforts to apply quantitative discipline to early church history, even if some of his findings seem a bit spe [...]

    This is an excellent review of the history of the rise of Christianity in the first few centuries. Stark argues that the Jews continued to convert to Christianity into the fifth century, shows how two plagues worked to increase the percentage of Christians in the empire, shows that practically Christianity was a more fulfilling religion than the paganism practiced in the empire, and more. Stark wrote this prior to his conversion to Christianity, so the explanations are those of a materialist soc [...]

    I typically really enjoy Stark, I think I've nearly finished all his books by now. This work, however, fell flat it seems to me. In this book, Stark applies general principles of sociology to the history of the rise of Christianity to explain how this movement spread amongst the Roman and pagan peoples (as well as the Jews). Frankly, a lot of the arguments seems at best possible, and at worst weak extrapolations with little evidence. I did enjoy the first and last chapters, but all in all, I was [...]

    Such a cool treatment of the early history of Christianity from a professed non-Christian. [March 2008]Once again God uses ordinary means to bring about miraculous results. Not unlike the everyday miracles of falling in love or giving birth, only Stark gives us the (very) wide angle lens with which to see it all. Spectacular. Faithfulness in the everyday; that's how God grows His church.

    A really great sociological treatment of the growth of the early church. It also points out some of their major emphases. Stark's views are slightly contradicted by James Davison Hunter, but still worth reading.

    Stark isn't a believer, but his research is solid and his point is a good one. Too many Christians think their own faith simply "is", rather than understanding the historical, social and political forces that caused it to be what it is today.

    Great work on the environment of early Christianity - cities, treatment of women, Jesus and His followers greatly impacted the Roman world for the better.

    I wanted to like it. I was excited to read it, as it can be difficult to find good books on Church history. I realize he isn't an historian or archaeologist, so I didn't expect him to approach things from that perspective. However, even with approaching it like a sociologist, one cannot ignore good historical research methods. At one point he came up with a model and said he'd show what should have happened and then show evidence that that is what did happen, but in history, you should look at t [...]

    Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity offers an insightful look through a sociological lens at the historical rise of Christianity. While Stark lacks a critical approach to the ancient sources he analyzes, his book nonetheless is a valuable tool for thinking about how Christianity spread in the Roman Empire as a new religious movement. Stark sets out to understand how Christianity spread like it did. In his first chapter, he proposes an estimated growth rate of 40% per decade based on histo [...]

    While it strips out any conversation about spiritual or supernatural influences, as a sociologist (probably) must, Stark gives reasoned and compelling explanations for why Christianity grew from an obscure sect to the dominant cultural force by the end of the Roman era. Part of that massive growth was because the beliefs that Christians adhered to had great influence on their demographics, health and welfare and were so starkly different than the rest of the pagan world.Not as casually readable [...]

    Eye-opening work. An in depth research of the 'surroundings' of the rise of Christianity. The writer stands from a secular sociologist point of view which gave him some advantages on historians. I don't agree with everything he took out of the biblical theology but he is careful in his statemens and respectful with different views. A lot of important details about things like the moral view, fertility, hygienic conditions and different cuts of the time. I did enjoy reading it and it gives a clea [...]

    Highly recommended -- if you're interested in history and Christianity and what the church could be like. It takes a sociological perspective on the first 300 years of church growth. Very instructive for what the church is NOT doing nowadays.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *