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3/3/11 10:21 AM
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jimmy23
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http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Wars-Patriarchs-Emperors-Christians/dp/0061768936/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299165587&sr=8-1
3/3/11 10:22 AM
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jimmy23
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 *Starred Review* The fifth-century Christian church faced a doctrinal issue, now largely forgotten, that precipitated intramural Christian savagery unparalleled until the 11-centuries-later Thirty Years’ War. The bone of contention was the nature of Jesus Christ. That he wasn’t a mere man was indisputable. But was he a human-divine cross-breed, so to speak, or was he purely divine and his human body an illusion? Neither was accepted, but the conclusion of the council of Chalcedon in 451 that he was fully divine and fully human—that is, said dissidents, of two natures—incensed those who held he was of one nature, entirely divine. The fight broke out well before Chalcedon, entailing the death-from-assault of the patriarch of Constantinople during the 449 council of Ephesus, thereafter disowned as the “Gangster Synod.” Chalcedon eventually triumphed, but not until well after 250 years of intermittent violence in which monks behaved like the Waffen SS. Jenkins condenses centuries of church and imperial strife with admirable clarity despite the continuous blizzard of historical names and ecclesiastical terms the narrative entails. He suggests that this era, not the later Dark and Middle Ages, is the most violent (un-Christian?) in Christian history and that it may have lessons for the present and future conflict between Christians and Muslims over the nature of God. --Ray Olson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
3/3/11 9:31 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Sounds like an unbiased account.
3/4/11 3:24 AM
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jimmy23
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 it is written from a historical/sociological perspective more so than a spiritual one
3/4/11 4:38 PM
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zealot66
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 Sounds interesting. I know something about Chalcedon but its always interesting to have historians and sociologists examine the 'trajectories' of the church from a perspective that doesnt have a theological or atheistic point of view. Just the facts ma'am.
3/5/11 1:57 AM
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Ridgeback
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jimmy23 -  it is written from a historical/sociological perspective more so than a spiritual one

 I gathered.  But all history is interepretation and that means all history is prone to bias.  I don't have a problem with some bias unless it starts to interfere with at least trying to be somewhat accurate.  

No historian with training would talk about "just the facts" since writing a history is like weaving a tapestry.  Some of the pieces might already some "finished," but the way they are put together in the whole is a matter of interpretation.  
3/5/11 3:09 AM
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 It was probably the review that threw me off since it seemed to say what the reviewer wanted it to day.  Jenkins is actually a political conservative and Episcopelian who stuck up for the Catholic church during the ongoing pedophile scandals.  

I have no problem with secular histories of Christianity.  I still think Frend's The Rise of Christianity is one of the best histories available.
3/5/11 10:33 AM
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zealot66
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Yeah, Frend's book was the best. And I believe I recommended it to you my friend ! lol. It was one of my text books in Early Christianity classes. I think Im the only one who actually read the book in the class.

I do believe it is possible to write history in an unbiased manner even when it comes to theological issues. It requires a reporting of all of the factions and tracing its roots to implementation to outcomes. Hard but possible.

Alot of socio historians definately have an agenda, meaning that they view sociological trends in a certain framework or assumptions. I have no idea if this person does but looking at different paradigms is invaluable even if they are wrong. aka the jesus seminar people. 
3/8/11 10:38 PM
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p4pSilvaReemAldo
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Might have to read that. Phone Post
3/9/11 11:53 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Another book from the same period that gets a lot of good reviews is "Defending Constantine."  It is supposed to debunk the conventional wisdom (apparently perpetrated by a famous Mennonite) that Constantine compromised Christianity from his lifetime forward.  It is on my summer reading list.  
3/14/11 11:13 AM
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Bench
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Looks an interesting read and I might have to check out the rise of Christianity too. Thanks :) Phone Post

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