This book tells a surprising story. Many think of Christianity as a Western faith, which grew out of its origins in the Middle East towards Rome and into Europe, paving the way for the Enlightenment, science and modernity. However, Philip Jenkins reveals, the largest and most influential churches of Christianitys youth lay to the east of Rome, covered the world from China to North Africa, encountered a full spectrum of acceptance to persecution under Islamic rule and only expired after a thousand-year reign after Constantine.
This is the story of these churches of the East and how they became extinct - but not before becoming the dominant expression of Christianity for its first 1,000 years and helping to shape both the Asia and the Christianity we know today.
Philip Jenkins is Edwin Erie Sparks Professor of the Humanities in History and Religious Studies at Penn State University and the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He is the author of over twenty-two books including The Next Christendom and The New Faces of Christianity.
`Marvelously accessible ... replete with fascinating details ... This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.
- Publishers Weekly
`Philip Jenkins book is a tour de force in historical retrieval and reconstruction, a work of scholarly restoration that strikes an overdue balance in the story of Christianity. It is studded with insight, with the story presented in a lively and lucid style.
- Lamin Sanneh, Professor of World Christianity and Professor of History, Yale University