Church History offers a unique contextual view of how the Christian church spread and developed. It did so, not in a vacuum, but in a setting of times, cultures, and events that both influenced and were influenced by the church. Church History looks closely at the integral link between the history of the world and that of the church.

Volume One explores the development of the church from the days of Jesus to the years prior to the Reformation. Filled with maps, charts, and illustrations, it offers overviews of the Roman, Greek, and Jewish worlds; insights into the church’s relationship to the Roman Empire, with glimpses into pagan attitudes toward Christians; the place of art and architecture, literature and philosophy, both sacred and secular; and much more, spanning the time from the first through the thirteenth centuries.

About the Author

Everett Ferguson (PhD, Harvard) is professor emeritus of Bible and distinguished scholar-in-residence at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where he taught church history and Greek. He is the author of numerous works, including Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Early Christians Speak, and Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries. He was also general editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

Table of Contents

  • 1. The Setting for the Story’s Beginning
  • 2. Jesus and the Beginnings of the Church
  • 3. The Subapostolic Age
  • 4. The Church and the Empire
  • 5. Heresies and Schisms in the Second Century
  • 6. The Defense against Rival Interpretations
  • 7. The Fathers of the Old Catholic Church and Their Problems
  • 8. Church Life in the Second and Third Centuries
  • 9. Development of the Church during the Third Century
  • 10. Diocletian and Constantine: On the Threshold of the Fourth Century
  • 11. The Church in the Fourth Century: Doctrine, Organization, and Literature
  • 12. Monasticism, Expansion, Life, and Worship: The Church in the Fourth Century
  • 13. Christological Controversies to Chalcedon (451)
  • 14. Augustine, Pelagius, and Semipelagianism
  • 15. Transitions to the Middle Ages: Germanic Migrations, Doctrinal Developments, and the Papacy
  • 16. Eastern and Western Churches in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries
  • 17. The Eastern Churches from the Seventh to Eleventh Centuries
  • 18. The Western Church from the Seventh to Ninth Centuries
  • 19. Decline and Renewal of Vitality in the West: The Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries
  • 20. The Papal Reform Movement and the First Crusade
  • 21. Intellectual Revival: The Rise of Scholasticism
  • 22. Monastic, Literary, Political, and Cultural Activities in the Twelfth Century
  • 23. The Glory of the Western Medieval Church: The Thirteenth Century
  • 24. Portents of Decline
  • General Bibliography
  • Timeline from Christ to Pre-Reformation

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