By Geoffrey Blainey
A brief heritage of Christianity vividly describes some of the major avid gamers within the religion’s upward push and fall throughout the a while, from Jesus himself to Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Francis Xavier, John Wesley, or even the Beatles, who claimed to be “more renowned than Jesus.” Blainey takes us into the realm of Christian worshipers in the course of the ages—from housewives to stonemasons—and strains the increase of the critics of Christ and his followers.
Eminently readable, and written with Blainey’s attribute interest and storytelling ability, this publication usually areas Christianity on the middle of worldwide background. Will it stay close to the heart? Blainey’s narrative illustrates that Christianity’s historical past is a much-repeated tale of ups and downs.
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Extra info for A Short History of Christianity
All the ancient cultures were polytheistic from the earliest times for which there is evidence, and there is no reason to imagine that at some earlier stage of human history monotheism had prevailed. When people started postulating unseen agencies to explain phenomena, they naturally attributed one kind of phenomenon to one agency and other kinds to others. So long as different gods act at different times and in different contexts, there need be no conflict among them. But once people imagine them living together in one divine society, the question arises whether their individual wills and interests clash, or whether they all agree on what is to be done.
Sometimes this is expressed by saying that the Christians were monotheists, while the pagans were polytheists. Obviously, even in antiquity, Christians were tempted to present matters as if they believed in one God, whereas the pagans believed in many gods. This is the way matters are presented, for instance, by Marius Victorinus. ’ It seems to me that both the Christian and the pagan positions are a good deal more complex than this simple contrast would suggest. But in what follows I will not discuss the position or the positions of the pagans in late antiquity generally, but focus on the vast majority of philosophers in late antiquity.
Xenophanes goes on to say that this supreme god is not like mortals either physically or mentally, ο τι δ µα θνητο σιν µο ιο ο δ ν ηµα. According to three further hexameter fragments which are likely to come from the same context (21 B 24–26), the god sees and hears with his whole being; by means of his mind, without effort, he shakes everything; he stays always in the same place, motionless, for it does not befit him to travel about. Here, all of a sudden, is the Unmoved Mover, a mighty Mind with no moving parts that controls matter.