This volume tells the story of Christianity through the individual men and women who shaped it. It is a story of colossal undertakings and spectacular successes as well as ferocious intolerance, greed and bloodshed. Bamber Gascoigne traces a clear path through a complicated history, exploring the motives, the passions, the fears and the achievements of the Christians. His approach is objective and he writes in a conversational style, focusing on moments of significant detail and a vast and varied cast of characters.
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(198mm x 134mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
A Brief History of Christianity was written in 1977 to accompany a then new, lavish 13-episode TV series of the same name. In an era when traditional TV documentaries were generally gentle, uncontentious and slightly dull, this one was intended to break the mould. Hitting our screens at the same time as David Attenborough's Life on Earth and Kenneth Clark's Civilisation, it was to do for religious programming what Attenborough and Clark had done so spectacularly for science and the arts, using all the technology then available. The choice of Bamber Gascoigne to present this most weighty of topics was a master stroke. Well respected as the intellectual force behind the popular student TV quiz University Challenge, Gascoigne was also the epitome of '70s elegance, with his wry humour and laid-back presentation style. 26 years later, and distanced from the TV series that inspired it by several generations, the book still bares Bamber Gascoigne's indelible stamp. His very distinct and recognizable authorial voice rings out loud and clear through all 13 chapters. In fact, it's hard to suppress the occasional smile as his earnest tones take us through a potted history of the Christian faith from the Emperor Constantine's conversion in the fourth century, which made Christianity the official religion of Rome, to the struggle of established Eastern Churches to survive under a Communist regime. Updated to include events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, this volume is an informal introduction to one of the world's great faiths, using first-person accounts to bring the intense and often difficult world of believers to life. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Bamber Gascoigne
Bamber Gasgoigne won scholarships to Eton and Cambridge, and a Harkness Fellowship to Yale. He presented television's University Challenge for 25 years and has written several books, including The Treasures and Dynasties of China, A Brief History of the Great Moghuls and A Brief History of Christianity.