Friday, April 19, 2013

The story of Christianity (David Bentley-Hart)

The Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian FaithThe Story of Christianity: An Illustrated History of 2000 Years of the Christian Faith by David Bentley Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A happy mix between the church histories that overdo the lavish at the expense of the comprehensive, and those that overdo the comprehensive at the expense of your eyesight. David Bentley Hart appears to have read everyone, from all the Gnostics, through Nietzsche, to the Russian devotional mystics, and that, and his own Eastern Orthodox faith means that his church history isn't skewed just to the Western (heard of St Herman of Alaska? Me neither). I found hardly a misstep in the book. His hobby of unravelling the myths and fairy tales that New Atheists tell to their children at bedtime (for a fuller account of which, see his 'Atheist Delusions') informs some of his chapters, notably those about the early modern period. My favourite of all the church histories I have read. Get someone to give you this book for Christmas.

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