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Book Review: ‘A History of Christianity’ by Diarmaid MacCulloch

April 10, 2011


Simply brilliant! Whether you saw the series, a trailer of which is at the top of the post, or not this book is simply magisterial! Starting a thousand years before Christ was born, the book initially exploring the Jewish community, its thoughts and faith so that the coming of Christ can be better understood. After this MacCulloch explores the next two thousand years of the spread of Christian faith, not just in the West but across the entire world. Whether you’ve read about Christian history before or not, you’re bound to learn many things you didn’t know, particularly for me about the Christian world outside of the West.

MacCulloch writes in a really accessible, interesting and readable way which is helpful as the book is over 1000 pages of fairly small print and thus took me, with some sizeable breaks included, about a year and a half to read. Whether you plan to dip in, or whether like me you intend to read all the way through, you will find each area expertly done, with a massive about of information presented as a story which is difficult to put down. If however, reading is something which you struggle at, or the thought of spending a year reading a history book is a bit much for you then I recommend the TV series as an interesting and helpful introduction to Christian history and perhaps this will give you a taste to go deeper with the book!

A triumphantly executed achievement. This book is a landmark in its field, astonishing in its range, compulsively readable, full of insight even for the most jaded professional and of illumination for the interested general reader. It will have few, if any, rivals in the English language

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury in the Guardian

Have you read this book? What is the best book on Church history that you’ve read?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2011 1:27 pm

    love this post thank you for posting. and god bless

  2. April 11, 2011 12:43 pm

    Sounds like a great book! I like how it seems to grip the attention of the reader and is also packed with info at the same time-not always any easy acheivement!

    • April 11, 2011 12:51 pm

      Thanks Jessica, have you read any good books on the history of the church?

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