1st Edition

Introducing Christianity

By James R. Adair Copyright 2007
    512 Pages
    by Routledge

    512 Pages
    by Routledge

    What is Christianity? How did it begin? What do Christians believe? What are their customs and history? How has Christianity developed though the centuries, and how diverse is Christianity today? Introducing Christianity is an essential introduction to one of the world’s great religious traditions.

    James R. Adair narrates the history of Christianity: the intellectual and historical context of its origins, its triumph under the Romans, the upheavals of the Crusades, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the challenges of the Enlightenment, and of the modern age. He explores the intriguing new forms Christianity took in the nineteenth century, the evolution of sects such as Mormonism and Jehovah’s witnesses, and its mission to Africa. Adair also interrogates Christianity’s role in the modern world, as he surveys liturgical, geographical and denominational perspectives of contemporary Christianity. He concludes by investigating how Christians interact with modern culture, particularly science, the arts, ethics, political and other religions.

    Written in a vivid and lively style, by an experienced teacher, Introducing Christianity is the ideal resource for students beginning their studies of Christianity. Richly illustrated, it also includes quotations from original sources, learning goals, summary boxes, questions for discussion, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive glossary, to aid study and revision. The accompanying website to this book can be found at www.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415772129.

    Part 1: Introduction to Christianity  1. Basic Questions  2. Christianity and the Divine  Part 2: Historical Overview of Christianity  3. The Historical and Intellectual Context of Christianity  4. The Founder and Foundational Documents  5. Defining Christianity  6. Conflict and Persecution  7. The Triumph of Christianity  8. Power Shift  9. Christendom at its Height  10. Winds of Change  11. Upheaval in the Church  12. Orthodoxy  13. Old World and New World  14. Diversification and Expansion  15. The Church and the Modern World  Part 3: The Varieties of Christianity  16.  A Denominational/Traditional Perspective  17. A Geographical Perspective  18. A Doctrinal Perspective  19. A Liturgical Perspective  Part 4: Christianity’s Interaction with the World  20. Christianity and Science  21. Christianity and the Arts  22. Christian Ethics and Politics  23. Christianity and Other Religions  24. Conclusion.  Abbreviations.  Glossary.  Bibliography


    James R. Adair is Assistant Professor at Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio, Texas.  He was the editor of the Society of Biblical Literature Text-Critical monograph series from 1997-2004 and is the general editor of TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism.

    For those seeking a phenomenological and historical approach to the study of Christianity, Adair’s text provides a helpful introduction. The book not only surveys the history of Christianity from the origins to the present but also provides students with an extended examination of contemporary varieties of Christianity and of Christianity’s interactions with the world. Adair’s evenhanded exploration of diversified Christian responses to such hotly debated issues as creation and evolution, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and relations with other religions serves as a useful reminder that there is no monolithic Christian approach to any social or ethical issue.

    Mary Kathleen Cunningham, North Carolina State University, Editor of God and Evolution: A Reader