Beginning with the life of Jesus, Robert Louis Wilken narrates the dramatic spread and development of Christianity over the first thousand years of its history. Moving through the formation of early institutions, practices, and beliefs to the transformations of the Roman world after the conversion of Constantine, he sheds new light on the subsequent stories of Christianity in the Latin West, the Byzantine and Slavic East, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Written by a preeminent religious historian, this book provides an introduction to early Christian thought. Focusing on major figures such as St. Augustine and Gregory of Nyssa, as well as s host of less well known thinkers, Robert Wilken chronicles the emergence of a specifically Christian intellectual tradition.
From one of the leading historians of Christianity comes this sweeping reassessment of religious freedom, from the church fathers to John Locke. In the ancient world, Christian apologists wrote in defense of their right to practice their faith in the cities of the Roman Empire. They argued that religious faith is an inward disposition of the mind and heart and cannot be coerced by external force, laying a foundation on which later generations would build.
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