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This lecture series (the great courses are a lecture series rather than a strict audiobook) was a good overview of the first half of Christian history going from the world of Christ to the reformers and reform movements just before the time of the Protestant Reformation. The lecturer as a Christian himself, a biblical scholar, and a capable historian has a fairer perspective on the events than some more purely academic religious scholars might. Anyone who is interested in the subject will benefit from the content in this book. As someone who has read widely on Christian history, I did have a few small disappointments. The content did not seem as thorough or capturing as some of the books I had read previously on the subject. I also found the lecturers voice and style to be a little boring at times. I should also note that those interested in learning about some of the "outside" groups in Christianity (Coptic Church, Ethiopian church, oriental church, etc.) will find these groups mentioned, but not expounded on in great detail. In summary this is an interesting and fair introduction, but I do think you can find better books for those new to this subject or interested in learning more. If this had been my first book on Christian history, I don't think I would have been as eager for a second... but I am sure those who are interested will enjoy the read and scholarship it represents.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful
Not for novice. Much terminology used but difficult to research when just listening. Found it difficult to follow.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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To be clear, the narrator speaks of Constantinian 'sponsorship' and it is explicitly stated that Christianity was not made the official religion of the empire until Theodosius I. The person who said otherwise clearly was not listening intently enough.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
A great way of looking at the broad sweep of the development of the European church. So many themes that seem modern such as different forms of spiritual expression, the relationship between church and state and how much a faith can adapt to culture without losing its essence are shown to go way back. Obviously taking this broad brush approach means you're conscious of skating over the surface of some big topics.