Introducing Christianity  book cover
1st Edition

Introducing Christianity

ISBN 9780415772129
Published January 31, 2008 by Routledge
512 Pages

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Book Description

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

Table of Contents

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

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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.