READ & DOWNLOAD É Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome


CHARACTERS Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome

Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome

H as those devoted to Isis the Egyptian goddess of love and magic and to Cybele the fertility goddess of Asia Minor actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman EmpireContrary to generations of historians the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire it of God The Real Story Epuballowed no female members and attracted only soldiersBy analyzing concrete data Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of than one third of the earth's population. This was uite a bit technical and polemic than I was expecting which is not necessarily a bad thing but is certainly an interesting combination the reader should know aboutFirst Stark devotes a significant portion of the book to methodology even explaining statistical regression and how it applies to historical research Some will find this helpful others will be bored out of their minds If you are expecting historical cultural background then be warned though some of that is definitely present Stark is interested in providing hard uantitative data even while acknowledging the difficulties of applying it to history This all does well to buffer his conclusions but the reader should know that some technical writing is aheadSecond the polemicsthis is where I could imagine many being turned off Stark clearly has a bone to pick with popular historical theories and leftist academic orthodoxy and he does not try to hide his disgust Even as someone who is largely in agreement with him I found the tone to be a bit grating so know this going inAll that said I am glad Stark is writing at a mostly popular level with this stuff His arguments are both compelling and convincing and certainly enriched my own understanding of the first generations of Christians the cultural setting in which the faith was born the activities of the first apostles and why the faith may have taken root the way it did His data on heretical movements is also extremely rich and sheds a lot of light on pop conspiracy theories about the Gnostics and the early churchSo if you are interested in history particularly the early church and can stomach some hard data methodology and a polemical tone then this is an easy recommendation

SUMMARY ´ THECOLCHESTERCIRCLE.CO.UK ✓ Rodney Stark

The PDFEPUB #189 the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its headContrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars Gnosticism was not a sophisticated authentic form of Christianity but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize ChristianityPaul was called the apostle of God The Real Story Epubto the Gentiles but mostly he converted JewsPaganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in AD but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of ChristianityThe oriental faiths suc. I like Rodney Stark s books He writes well is clear and documents his work Recently I finished Cities of God a rather scientific book about the rise of Christianity His thesis which he proves with uantitative research is that Christianity took hold in cities mostly port cities to begin with that had a good number of Jews in them The first chapter talks about missions and how they work how monotheism was particularly suited for mission work and why Christianity was uniuely shaped to do mission work He also speaks to subjective versus objective views of history His position is that history can be viewed through uantitative analysis and that it will actually prove what went on Too many historians according to Stark are subjective as to causes and eventsHe devotes one chapter to Paul and his missionary activities Stark contends that Paul worked mostly with Hellenized Jews and that in many cases churches already existed before Paul got to a city Mission work was going on naturally through relatives and friends and business contacts He includes a chart that begins with 1000 Christians in 40 AD and ends with 31722489 Christians in 350 AD This is achieved by a 34% growth rate per year which is perfectly achievable with person to person evangelism He appreciates Paul and is thankful for his epistles but says that Paul made little difference in the overall growth of the churchIn later chapters the author explains how a rural Galilean faith became urbanized and he identifies 31 cities in the Roman Empire having at least 30000 inhabitants He also talks about Isis and Cybele two oriental goddesses that moved west and were monotheistic These two religions helped set the stage for Christianity and its monotheism I think he gives a good explanation of why Christianity displaced polytheism and the two goddesses Mr Stark also explains why many Jews of the Diaspora were inclined to accept Christianity Finally he deals with Gnosticism and other heresies He also shows why Mithraism was never a serious contender it was for men only and mostly for soldiers and very secretiveHis final chapter is titled Why Historians Ought to Count In this chapter he argues for uantitative data and that serious historians should make use of it to be accurate in their conclusions He chides many historians for being subjective and parroting what others said before Edward Gibbon comes in for his share of criticism Gibbon was very anti Catholic which biased his views Gibbon s views were not based on uantitative data but on subjective feelings Those people longing for the good old days of tolerant paganism just don t know their historyThere are lots of charts and maps and tables in this book It is well presented and done so in a clear and logical fashion It is a book for serious Christians to read and to be inspired by The only reason I give it 4 stars is because it is technical and reuires concentration when reading especially the part explaining concepts and theories concepts and indicators and hypothesis This part is necessary to understand how he goes about using the data but it is not easy reading

Rodney Stark ✓ 1 READ & DOWNLOAD

How did the preaching of a peasant God The PDF #204 carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers Who listened to this good news and who ignored it Where did Christianity spread and how Based on uantitative data and the latest scholarship preeminent scholar and journalist Cities of ePUB #192 Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the worldDrawing on both archaeological and historical evidence Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of of God. This book wasn t at all what I expected I thought I would learn a lot about cities in the Greco Roman world how Christianity developed in those areas what churches might have looked like in those contexts etc Instead I learned a little bit about life in Greco Roman cities only about 5 pages are devoted to a discussion of urban life a few things about certain cults and heretical movements and a LOT about how spectacularly condescending Rodney Stark can sound when he feels like he s being scientific than historiansMore than a real history this book felt like an extended argument for a particular approach to historiography Stark thinks historians need to spend time counting He s really uite vehement about it and about as subtle as a marble column falling on your head Basically Stark tries to answer uestions about the spread of Christianity through the urban centres of the Roman Empire by yes counting counting people counting inscriptions counting churchessuffice it to say he likes it when things are counted This is history via statistics and it yields some interesting resultsStark basically takes the 30 or so largest cities in the Roman Empire from about 100 to 300 CE and starts looking at correlations between different variables related to the level of Christianization in the area For example he determines that port cities cities with large Jewish populations very Hellenized cities and cities with high numbers of Isis worshippers all tended to have churches earlier than cities that didn t fit these categories He makes some genuinely interesting observations that give him a chance to weigh in on some historical controversies such as whether gnostic texts like the Gospel of Thomas prove that many eually valid Christianities circulated widely before being brutally silenced by the orthodox church He says no which to my mind is the historically credible answer though it s not clear that he contributes anything original to the conversation All this is relatively interestingI had a few real problems with this work however especially because the tone Stark uses in his introduction and conclusion is frankly obnoxious Stark is very much a sociologist and very much convinced of the superiority of his discipline s methods he s out to tell the world how stupid it is that historians don t rely on objective scientific methods like statistical analysis and if they don t listen he ll just say it again louder It either doesn t occur or doesn t matter to him that he s on historians turf here and might be straying out of his elementIn fact Stark does come across as out of his element in a few ways He seems to think that he was the first to suggest applying social science methodology to historical study he wasn t and that this solves all of history s annoying little interpretive tangles it doesn t Social science history has been fashionable in the past and perhaps will be again one day but it s not anything new at this point Ironically it seems to me that Stark inadvertently highlights some of the reasons why social science history s heyday was rather fleetingFirst Stark comes across as extremely confident in his numbers and statistics but he gives little if any attention to how he came up with those numbers He mentions that population estimates for ancient cities can vary extremely widely 40000 to 200000 in Pergamum for example but pretty much just tells readers to trust him that he has the right numbers which are essential to the arguments he s making Realistically one of the reasons historians don t do of what he s urging them to do is that making calculations about the past is extremely difficult when evidence is limited Stark is either so overconfident in his statistics that he doesn t see the need to explain or argue for them or doesn t respect his readers enough to share his evidence with themSecond the whole framework of argumentation struck me as contrived Stark wants to prove that he s doing scientific history so he sets up his chapters as series of hypotheses that surprise all seem to be confirmed by the statistical data Maybe I m just cynical but I kept wondering how many unsuccessful experiments didn t make it into the book That aside the format made the book feel very fragmented and it was sometimes hard to know what larger point if any Stark was trying to make Some chapters felt like collections of scattered factoids than coherent arguments Third even if we assume that all Stark s numbers and calculations are right and all his data crunching is sound and relevant we basically end up with a collection of correlations or relationships eg Christianity and Isis worship tended to be popular in the same places but no real insight into their meaning Stark proposes and sometimes seems to assume some conclusions from the correlations he finds but he doesn t really argue for his interpretations This seems to me to be a fundamental weakness of social science methodology applied to history it can sometimes tell you THAT something happened but it rarely tells you WHY A sociologist studying contemporary phenomena can go and ask people uestions about what s going on but historians can t In the absence of documentary evidence Stark s methodology leaves a gap between data and interpretation that can t be bridged without serious speculation Finally for all Stark s insistence that historians need uantifiable data to be credible there are only so many historical uestions that lend themselves to uantifiable answers Unfortunately a lot of people don t find the uestions that numbers can answer nearly as interesting as the ones they can t Statistics can t tell us what it was like to live in the ancient world they don t bring the past to life they don t let the voices of the past speak for themselves At the end of the day that s why I think the unscientific narrative style of history that so obviously frustrates Stark isn t going anywhere when we want to learn about people sometimes counting them is less important than trying to listen to their stories

  • Hardcover
  • 288
  • Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome
  • Rodney Stark
  • English
  • 27 January 2018
  • 9780060858421

About the Author: Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark grew up in Jamestown North God The PDF Ì Dakota and began his career as a newspaper reporter Following a tour of duty in the US Army he received his PhD from the University of California Berkeley where he held appointments as a research sociologist at the Survey Research Center and at Cities of ePUB À the Center for the Study of Law and Society He left Berkeley to become Professor of Sociology and of Compa.



10 thoughts on “Cities of God The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conuered Rome

  1. says:

    This book wasn't at all what I expected I thought I would learn a lot about cities in the Greco Roman world how Christianity developed in those areas what churches might have looked like in those contexts etc Instead I learned a little bit a

  2. says:

    Like his previous books this one is well worth readingStark disproves many currently popular views about early Christianity such as 'Christians forced paganism out of existence' and 'pagan beliefs produced Christian thought'Stark also debunks

  3. says:

    A brilliant and elegant refuation of many of the most prevelant theories surrounding the nature and origin of Christianity Why are members of non Abrahamic religions called pagans? How did Christianity become an imperial power? Why did the elite and the intelligentsia engage in Christian exegesis? All explored herein

  4. says:

    Too rare are intellectuals of minority and unpopular conviction who can back up their hypotheses with uantitative data Rod

  5. says:

    A sociologist Dr Stark uses an approach to history in this book that I have never seen before He uses statistical analysis of available data

  6. says:

    I like Rodney Stark’s books He writes well is clear and documents his work Recently I finished Cities of God a rather scientific book about the rise of Christianity His thesis which he proves with uantitative research is that Christianity took hold in cities mostly port cities to begin with that had a good number of Je

  7. says:

    I had a difficult time fighting the urge to put this book down throughout the first chapter The beginning of the book is laid out much as a student of rudimentary statistics would present uantitative information I found it grating to read It's only as I read the book that I came to understand that this format of argumentation is precisely why Stark wrote the book and not the subject matter it entails This book

  8. says:

    This was uite a bit technical and polemic than I was expecting which is not necessarily a bad thing but is certainly an interesting combination the reader should know aboutFirst Stark devotes a significant portion of the book to methodology even explaining statistical regression and how it applies to historical research Some will

  9. says:

    Wow A book that makes history fall into place with a resounding KerchunkThe author uses a statistical analysis techniue to clearly demonstrate the slow growth of Christianity in the first three hundred years as opposed to

  10. says:

    Thesis not supported by the bookI have enjoyed Rodney a Stark’s books in the past and looked forward to this one However instead of a treatise on how Christianity progressed in the 1st and 2nd centuries after Jesus it was an analysis of the different religions that existed at that time Only about 14 actually dealt with what enabled the church to progress and even that was assertion that it was supported Also it was disappointing that he

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *