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A book about the history of christianity?

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A book about the history of christianity?
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cartesyPosts: 11Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:19 pm Gender: Male

Post A book about the history of christianity?

Hi,

I'd like to learn more about the history of christianity (how the new testament was written, who chose which epistles to include in the bible, how Constantine became a christian, etc.)

Does anyone have any book or documentary to suggest?
Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:17 pm
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1176Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

This perhaps?

A history of Christianity on BBC

bbc page about the series
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:00 am
cartesyPosts: 11Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:19 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

Seems great, thank you :)

I 've also found a few books on the subject in this section of Sam Harris' website.
Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:00 am
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

Karen Armstrong seems to be a well liked author on the subject of religion and she has done this

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Bible-Biogr ... 73&sr=8-12
Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:01 pm
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PABUser avatarPosts: 382Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 pmLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

'The Foundations of Christianity' by the German Marxist theoritician, Karl Kautsky

This was the first attempt to describe the rise of that major western religion from the standpoint of class forces and the material developments of society, rather than by the pious fictions fed from church pulpits.

Karl Kautsky's book was deficient in many respects, but the main lines of his argument still stand the test today. What was especially significant about Kautsky's book was that it was the first comprehensive attempt to describe the foundation and rise of Christianity using the method of historical materialism.


Karl Kautsky, therefore, rejected the metaphysical myths behind Christianity - the miracles, supernatural events, and so on - and attempted to describe its origins and rise through the social conditions that existed in the Roman Empire.


http://www.marxist.com/foundations-of-christianity-jp.htm

http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1908/christ/index.htm

Heard good things about it.
"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil...there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy." Albert Einstein
Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:52 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

PAB wrote:'The Foundations of Christianity' by the German Marxist theoritician, Karl Kautsky

This was the first attempt to describe the rise of that major western religion from the standpoint of class forces and the material developments of society, rather than by the pious fictions fed from church pulpits.

Karl Kautsky's book was deficient in many respects, but the main lines of his argument still stand the test today. What was especially significant about Kautsky's book was that it was the first comprehensive attempt to describe the foundation and rise of Christianity using the method of historical materialism.


Karl Kautsky, therefore, rejected the metaphysical myths behind Christianity - the miracles, supernatural events, and so on - and attempted to describe its origins and rise through the social conditions that existed in the Roman Empire.


http://www.marxist.com/foundations-of-christianity-jp.htm

http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1908/christ/index.htm

Heard good things about it.


I have to say i've heard some bad things about it but if you want to critique what i've just linked, go ahead.

----

by the way, if one is interested there is a nice selection of early christian writings located here
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Tue May 01, 2012 3:21 am
PABUser avatarPosts: 382Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 pmLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

theyounghistorian77 wrote:I have to say i've heard some bad things about it but if you want to critique what i've just linked, go ahead.

----

by the way, if one is interested there is a nice selection of early christian writings located here


Thanks for the link,
I havent read Kautsky yet, and therefore i dont defend his position necessarily, But the problems i have with the article you have posted can be superficailly hinted at by the fact it is a producted of a christian college.
From what ive read so far it is basically trying to understand the history of early christianity based on what it says in the bible...(because it is 'gospel').

Not that a rough idea of what happened cant be attained from the bible, but we are dealing with a text that often contains its antithesis in the next chapter.

As for jesus was a socialist...i never bought in to it . Although socialistic elements may be found within the bible it will equally conctain anti socialistic points. As the article states regarding jesus talking about private property and wealth.

What do you think is the right method for understanding the history of Christianity theYoungHistorian ?
"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil...there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy." Albert Einstein
Tue May 01, 2012 11:42 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

PAB wrote:
theyounghistorian77 wrote:I have to say i've heard some bad things about it but if you want to critique what i've just linked, go ahead.

----

by the way, if one is interested there is a nice selection of early christian writings located here


Thanks for the link,
I havent read Kautsky yet, and therefore i dont defend his position necessarily, But the problems i have with the article you have posted can be superficailly hinted at by the fact it is a producted of a christian college.


Like your stance on Kautsky i will not defend the article linked and indeed i believe i made it clear that i invited the critique of it. I guess one could say it exists linked here as "food for thought" so to speak. BTW as an additional tidbit the wiki article on the author (Rodney Stark) makes out that he has a paticular stance on the teaching of Darwin's ideas that i will say i disagree with :!:

From what ive read so far it is basically trying to understand the history of early christianity based on what it says in the bible...(because it is 'gospel').Not that a rough idea of what happened cant be attained from the bible, but we are dealing with a text that often contains its antithesis in the next chapter.


I've pointed out the issue of how much "weight" should be placed on documents and quotations in a number of threads such as this one and although the subject of that thread was different to what we're discussing here the point i made there can easily be transfered onto the bible and biblical quotations, because for good or for bad (many times the latter) the bible is still a document that has to be analysed.

As for jesus was a socialist...i never bought in to it . Although socialistic elements may be found within the bible it will equally conctain anti socialistic points. As the article states regarding jesus talking about private property and wealth.


I Agree

What do you think is the right method for understanding the history of Christianity theYoungHistorian ?


i severly hope my name wasn't invoked in a derogatory manner there given some of our previous exchanges in these forums, and im ever so sorry to everyone if im sounding ever so incredibly banal and boring, but there is a little method i have called the historical method. Not only are there a number of questions i have to ask about each of the sources one has at my disposial, but then i then have to compare and contrast (evaluate) each of said sources against one another, assigning different weights and finding strands of both agreement and disagreement. It is through this method that an understanding of time and place begins to develop.

thats the method in its most basic terms. I take it you may be aware that my good friend Anachronous Rex is also a historian and i have confidence that even though we study different eras, he has been trained to handle both primary and secondary materials in much the same way that i have. Ian kershaw (a man who i often cite) was afterall originally a medievalist and if it wasn't for an unfortunate encounter with a Neo-nazi, he would have most likely stayed as one.
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Wed May 02, 2012 1:35 am
PABUser avatarPosts: 382Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 pmLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

No the question was not derogatory . We may have our disagreements but we also have agreements (for example criticisms of Glenn Beck)

In terms of its food for thought, its good in its challenging of the idea that Christianity was 'originally a movement of oppressed people'. Which i remain agnostic to, as i haven't looked into the history of early Christianity. And it is something to keep in mind when reading Kautsky.
"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil...there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy." Albert Einstein
Thu May 03, 2012 9:20 am
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

PAB wrote:No the question was not derogatory . We may have our disagreements but we also have agreements (for example criticisms of Glenn Beck)


Okays i guess i have to say 'Mea Culpa' then! Apologies for the misunderstanding of the invoking of my name.
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Thu May 03, 2012 11:32 am
cartesyPosts: 11Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:19 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

What about Richard Carrier? Would you recommend his work?
Tue May 08, 2012 7:38 pm
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

cartesy wrote:What about Richard Carrier? Would you recommend his work?


i'd exercise caution in reading him
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Thu May 10, 2012 8:05 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

theyounghistorian77 wrote:
cartesy wrote:What about Richard Carrier? Would you recommend his work?


i'd exercise caution in reading him


I'm curious as to why you'd say this?

Because he is a 'myther'? Or are there other reasons to exercise caution when reading his stuff?
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Thu May 10, 2012 11:01 am
theyounghistorian77ContributorUser avatarPosts: 726Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:43 amLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Male

Post Re: A book about the history of christianity?

Laurens wrote:
theyounghistorian77 wrote:
i'd exercise caution in reading him


I'm curious as to why you'd say this?

Because he is a 'myther'? Or are there other reasons to exercise caution when reading his stuff?


Well as you should know i've already cited Carrier (albeit in another context) so i wouldn't say anything on the lines of "dispose of his material" or anything like that. That being said i still remain ambivalent more than anything else and am waitng to see how a response to the likes of this pans out. Im hoping Carrier gets round to producing a good response, but i'll see from there
"Politics is weird, and creepy, and now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality." - Shep Smith
Thu May 10, 2012 12:31 pm
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