Cover image for The Oxford illustrated history of Christianity
The Oxford illustrated history of Christianity
McManners, John.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
xi, 724 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 26 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
BR145.2 .O86 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This richly illustrated book tells the story of Christianity from its origins to the present day. Written by a team of scholars, all authorities in their fields, it spans 2000 years of colourful incident to give a uniquely authoritative history of Christianity for the general reader. Every aspect of the faith is explored. The introduction discusses Christian interpretations of the historical process, and the links and tensions between religious and artistic inspiration. The first section runs from the earliest Christian communities to 1800, and includes chapters on EasternChristendom, Christianity and Islam, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the expansion of Christianity. The second section is divided by geographical area, and covers the period 1800 to the present day. There are special studies of Britain and Europe, North and South America, Africa, India andthe Far East, and the Orthodox Churches of Eastern Europe. The final section, `Christianity Today and Tomorrow' considers questions of Christian theology, conscience, and belief, and explores new images of the Christian community, ending with a glimpse of the future of the faith. Throughout, thebook reflects the changing world in which Christians have found themselves, and gives full weight to events and movements where the Christian response has been challenged and re-evaluated. There are over 350 illustrations, including 32 full colour plates, all specifically chosen to complement the broad-ranging text. The book also contains ten maps, a chronology, annotated guides to further reading, and a full index. Authoritative, comprehensive, and highly readable, this book captures the richness and vitality of Christian art and thought in a wide variety of cultures and times.

Author Notes

John McManners, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Oxford, and Fellow and Chaplain, All Souls College, Oxford.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

This volume provides a relatively concise overview of the major Occidental religion in three parts: "From the Origins to 1800," "Christianity since 1800," and "Christianity Today and Tomorrow." The chapters, each by a prominent scholar, trace the development of Christian belief, Christianity's relationship to other world religions, and the practice of Christianity in different parts of the world. Three hundred fifty examples of artwork with Christian themes illustrate. Although not really for the casual reader, this volume will be valuable in many public library reference collections. Bibliography, chronology; to be indexed. --Mary Deeley

Publisher's Weekly Review

Extending from the earliest Christian communities, marked by a strong sense of being ``called out'' from the surrounding society, to the 20th century, a ``reversion to an age of persecution of Christianity,'' this superb, authoritative chronicle recreates the sense of the sacred as it was experienced by Christians in particular times and settings. Led by McManners, professor of ecclesiastical history at Oxford, a team of 19 historians explores the decisive role of Christianity in shaping the Germanic West, the intricate tapestry of Eastern Christendom, the historic failure of Christians to accommodate Jews and Muslims in their midst. Chapters deal with the Reformation and the new lay spirituality of the Enlightenment, missionary expansionism (1500-1800) and modern developments in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the U.S. and Europe. Hundreds of illustrations range from paintings by El Greco, Botticelli and Edward Hicks to an Ethiopian miniature, a drawing from a ninth-century psalter and photographs of key figures. 35,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; History Book Club and Reader's Subscription main selections. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In 19 chapters by as many scholars, this latest volume in the ``Oxford Illustrated History'' series traces the development of Christianity from its turbulent beginning to the present ferment in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. The last four chapters assess the current state of Christianity and its direction as it faces the challenges of the 21st century. A major emphasis of all the writers is the interaction between church and society. They do not present an isolated view of Christianity's development but show how it has grown in relation and in reaction to changes in its world and how it has helped shape that world. The wealth of illustrations--averaging one every other page--and the readable (though by no means elementary) style should give this volume wide appeal. Highly recommended for public and academic collections.-- Craig W. Beard, Harding Univ. Lib., Searcy, Ark. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-- A collection of 19 essays written by noted individuals and arranged in chronological order from first-century Christianity to projections about the future of the religion. Approximately 350 illustrations complement the selections and represent the differing atmospheres of the changing concepts of this religion throughout history. The sources for further research offer a comprehensive list of additional materials. The thorough index includes ideas and movements as well as proper names, guiding readers to both text and illustrations. While not easy reading, this is an excellent research source; however, some background in the subject is necessary for full comprehension.-- Lizabeth Connelly, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
IntroductionJohn MacManners
1 From Origins to 1800 The Early Christian CommunityHenry Chadwick
2 From Rome to the Barbarian Kingdoms (330-700)Robert A. Markus
3 The West: The Age of Conversion (700-1050)Henry Mayr-Harting
4 Eastern ChristendomKallistos Ware
5 Christianity and IslamJeremy Johns
6 Christian Civilization (1050-1400)Colin Morris
7 The Late Medieval Church and its Reformation (1400-1600)Patrick Collinson
8 Enlightenment: Secular and Christian (1600-1800)John McManners
9 The Expansion of Christianity (1500-1800)John McManners
10 Christianity Since 1800 Great Britain and EuropeOwen Chadwick
11 North AmericaMartin Marty
12 Latin AmericaFredrick Pike
13 AfricaPeter Hinchliff
14 Asia, KennethHelen Ballhatchet
15 The Orthodox Churches of Eastern EuropeSergei Hackel
16 Christianity Today and Tomorrow What Christians BelieveMaurice Wiles
17 New Images of Christian CommunityBryan Wilson
18 The Christian ConscienceBasil Mitchell
19 The Future of ChristianityJohn Taylor
Further Reading