Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Linda Woodhead

By Linda Woodhead

At a time while Christianity is thriving within the Southern Hempisphere yet declining in a lot of the West, Linda Woodhead bargains a daring new review of the world's biggest faith, exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity over millennia.

Christianity addresses themes that different books forget, for instance the contest for strength among assorted kinds of Christianity, the churches' makes use of of strength, and their struggles with modernity. Woodhead additionally considers the new charismatic explosion of Christianity in Latin the USA, Africa, and the some distance East. She concludes via displaying the ways that those that formerly had the least energy in Christianity--women and non-Europeans--have develop into increaslingly vital to its unfolding story.

Up-to-date, authoritative, and choked with clean insights, Christianity: a truly brief creation brings an unlimited and sundry topic into sharp focus

Reviews:

`her research is sophisticated and perceptive.' autonomous on Sunday

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By Linda Woodhead

At a time while Christianity is thriving within the Southern Hempisphere yet declining in a lot of the West, Linda Woodhead bargains a daring new review of the world's biggest faith, exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity over millennia.

Christianity addresses themes that different books forget, for instance the contest for strength among assorted kinds of Christianity, the churches' makes use of of strength, and their struggles with modernity. Woodhead additionally considers the new charismatic explosion of Christianity in Latin the USA, Africa, and the some distance East. She concludes via displaying the ways that those that formerly had the least energy in Christianity--women and non-Europeans--have develop into increaslingly vital to its unfolding story.

Up-to-date, authoritative, and choked with clean insights, Christianity: a truly brief creation brings an unlimited and sundry topic into sharp focus

Reviews:

`her research is sophisticated and perceptive.' autonomous on Sunday

Show description

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Sample text

Paul was a Jew, and he accepts the monotheism of the Jewish scriptures. He believes that there is only one almighty, male, creator God and that all creatures are subordinate to him – as a pot is to a 19 Jesus: the God-man will precede you. Rather the Father’s rule is inside you Christianity potter. If God is displeased with what he has made, he can smash it and begin his work again. This rules out the gnostic route for Paul, for it would be impossible for him to affirm that humans contain the inherent potential to be reunited with their divine source.

Exclaims the Latin Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, ‘oh happy sin which has received as its reward so great and so good a redeemer’. For a Christianity of higher power, the saviour was quickly exalted high above the human condition – and has remained there ever since. Despite clear doctrinal insistence that he is ‘very God and very man’ (see Chapter 3), his divinity has tended to eclipse and qualify his humanity rather than vice versa. This early stress on Christ’s divine status may explain why there are no records of what the human Jesus looked like.

We are dealing here with ‘icons’ rather than portraits – magical images that offer access to the mysterious divine power they represent. Until the early Middle Ages such images of Christ dominated the Christian imagination. Gradually, however, they were supplemented with something rather different: depictions of Christ suffering and dying – Christ on the cross, Christ being taken down from the cross, and the Pietà (the dead Christ cradled in the arms of his mother Mary). As we will see in later chapters, the change was bound up with new forms of devotion that focused not only on the glory and majesty of the saviour, but on his suffering.

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