Cloth $110.00 ISBN: 9780226289588 Published September 2007
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9780226289595 Published September 2007

The Christianity Reader

Edited by Mary Gerhart and Fabian Udoh

Edited by Mary Gerhart and Fabian Udoh

800 pages | 8-1/2 x 11 | © 2007
Cloth $110.00 ISBN: 9780226289588 Published September 2007
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9780226289595 Published September 2007
Christianity is the world’s most populous religion, with some two billion adherents. As a world religion, Christianity has flourished because it is capable of taking on new forms in new contexts. To understand both the religion’s history and its present state, Mary Gerhart and Fabian Udoh gather original texts—from early Christian writings to contemporary documents on church-related issues—in The Christianity Reader. The most comprehensive anthology of Christian texts ever in English, this is a landmark sourcebook for the study of Christianity’s historical diversity. With newly edited, annotated, and translated primary texts, along with supplemental analytical essays, the volume allows Christianity, at long last, to speak in its many voices.

Focusing on Christianity as a religion, Gerhart and Udoh select texts that illuminate issues such as theology, mysticism, and ritual, while also articulating the stories of previously marginalized groups, as well as those in new and growing epicenters of the religion. With nearly three hundred selections, the texts encompass the entire history of Christian writings excluding the New Testament, from Justin Martyr and Tertullian to Fabien Eboussi Boulaga and Teresa of Calcutta. Eight thematic sections cover biblical traditions and interpretations; early influences; nascent forms; patterns of worship; structures of community; philosophy, theology, and mysticism; twentieth-century issues and challenges; and the contemporary relationship between Christianity and other world religions. The Reader’s contents are arranged chronologically and are supported with introductions and source notes that explain the rationale for their inclusion and their context.

Providing a far richer selection than ever before available in a single volume, The Christianity Reader will be welcomed as both a classroom resource and a work of reference for decades to come.
Catholic Library World
"This anthology provides a rich selection of texts and is good news both as a classroom resource and as a work of reference. It is highly recommended for students, pastors and academic teachers and for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Christianity."
ARBA Online
"This volume brings the reader into contact with a comprehensive anthology of Christian and non-Christian texts, essays, and writings, along with supplemental essays and general commentary that expand one's knowledge and perhaps understanding of the varieties of Christianities now existing in the world. Prepared for the student-scholar or interested reader of religion, Christian history, and philosophical theology, its carefully crafted overviews demonstrate a respect for the power of heretrogeneity within the Christian community."
Edward J. Enright | Horizons
"Students can . . . conclude that what  they will find in the book are readings that will present the variety, depth, and breadth of Christian history. . . . The Christianity Reader would definitely be a great text for an upper class student. At the very least, this book of readings should be in every library of an institution of higher learning, and that students be made fully aware of its presence as an important resource."
Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction

CHAPTER 1
BIBLICAL TRADITIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS: SOURCES OF AUTHORITY

     1. TEXTS AND CANON
     2. ISSUES OF INTERPRETATION

CHAPTER 2
EARLY INFLUENCES ON EMERGING CHRISTIANITY

     1. CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN AND HELLENISTIC JUDAISMS
     2. GRECO-ROMAN PHILOSOPHY
     3. OTHER CONTEMPORARY RELIGIONS: PAGANISM AND ORIENTAL CULTS

CHAPTER 3
EARLY FORMS OF CHRISTIANITY

     1. JEWISH CHRISTIANITY
     2. CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS AND PROSELYTIZING
     3. MARTYRDOM
     4. ASCETICISM AND HERMETICISM
     5. "SECTS" AND FORMATIVE CONTROVERSIES

CHAPTER 4
RITUALS AND PATTERNS OF WORSHIP

     1. THE RISE OF SACRAMENTS AS THE CENTRAL FOCUS OF COMMUNITY
     2. MEDIEVAL LITURGIES AND PAGEANTRY
     3. TRIDENTINE AND VATICAN REFORMS
     4. EASTERN ORTHODOX LITURGY
     5. LITURGICAL ISSUES IN SIXTEENTH- AND TWENTIETH-CENTURY PROTESTANTISM
     6. "INDEPENDENT" AND HOLINESS CHRISTIAN LITURGIES
     7. CONTEMPORARY AND POPULAR RITUAL
     8. ART AND ARCHITECTURE

CHAPTER 5
STRUCTURES OF COMMUNITY: WAYS OF LIVING, DECISION MAKING

     1. EARLY COMMUNITY STRUCTURES
     2. MONASTIC LIFE AND RULES, EAST AND WEST
     3. EVOLVING STRUCTURES OF MINISTRY AND POWER
     4. QUESTIONS OF ETHICS

CHAPTER 6
MYSTICISM, PHILOSOPHY, THEOLOGY: DEMANDS ON THE INTELLECT

     1. MYSTICS, MYSTICISM, AND VISIONARIES: APOPHATIC AND CATAPHATIC TENSIONS
     2. PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY: QUESTION OF METHOD

CHAPTER 7
TWENTIETH CENTURY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES

     1. SOCIAL PROPHETS
     2. CHURCH AND STATE RELATIONS
     3. NEW NOTIONS OF CHURCH
     4. RELIGION, SCIENCE, AND SECULARISM

CHAPTER 8
CHRISTIANITY AND OTHER RELIGIONS AS WORLD PHENOMENA
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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