where they hide in dread! Quite a mouthful, I know. This is an interesting look at the eastern arm of the Christian church, which survived for a thousand years under non-Christian polities (largely Muslim) and, arguably, flourished up through the 14th century AD. On December 22, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reshuffled his cabinet. In 1930 there were proposals to transfer them to South America. -- Forbes magazine The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins offers … Success has many parents and failure is an orphan. If you didn't know that Christian communities existed and thrived in Asia and Africa during antiquity, you will learn about that in this book. As late as the 11th century Asia was home to about a third of the world’s Christians, Africa another 10 percent, and the faith in these continents had deeper roots in the culture than it did in Europe, where in many places it was newly arrived or still arriving. Jenkins has done a great service to Christendom in writing this book on its "lost history." I'm writing a paper on this book so I'll be giving more thoughts in it but generally this book will humble you, just read through the details of unfamiliar locations though you'll learning a lot of good world history, particularly the 13th and 14th century, but not everyone likes that stuff. Christianity became predominantly European not because this continent had any obvious affinity for that faith, but by default: Europe was the continent where it was not destroyed. A valuable, insightful book! The sections on Christianity's expansion eastwards and the tragic history of the churches of central Asia, still a little-known and under-researched subject, are among the very best in the book. Philip Jenkins’s marvelous new book, The Lost History of Christianity, tells the largely forgotten story of Nisibis, and thousands of sites like it, which stretch from Morocco to Kenya to India to China, and which were, deep into the second millennium, the heart of the church. By taking about the different communities that managed to survive better than others, such as the Egyptian Copts, Jenkins also discusses the factors of geography and politics that help or doom minority religions. For the first millennium of the church's history, Europe was less Christendom than a dismissed backwater. While Islam was Christianity's principal rival in many of these areas, the two religions more or less co-existed with occasional flare-ups one might have thought would define the interplay between them during that period. Well, that is one of the topics discussed in this well written, highly informative history. The Mongols sought alliances with Christians, and there were Christians among them, hence local believers were treated as a potential fifth column and often massacred. Later, the Mongols themselves embraced Islam and turned on the Christians. The church’s milieu was not only Jewish and Muslim but also, perhaps more so, Buddhist, Manichaean, Zoroastrian, and Confucian. Jenkin's historical trek through the centuries & characters of these formerly Christian majority areas is very insightful, as well as encouraging. In this case, the Eurocentric biases of the mainstream history of Christianity completely ignore the flourishing of vast number of Christians in Asia and Africa from the 5th to the 13th century, right across the history of Muslim Caliphate. Brilliant book about the "lost history" of Christianity; one of my year's top ten best. This is an amazing book, and doesn't lament the fact that Christianity was supplanted by Islam but simply explains how it happened and why. Be the first one to write a review. The Pope in Rome presided over a Christian backwater compared to thousands of bishoprics across Asia and Africa who looked to the Bishop of Babylon. The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and How it Died by Philip Jenkins is a fascinating book outlining the history of Christianity outside of Europe, especially during the first thousand years. While dry, academic and textbook in nature, I was able to parse some relevant facts about the history of Christianity in Turkey. One, Markos, was probably a Uygur and the other, Bar Sauma, may have been an Onggud. Highly recommended. But even then, you will not come away with a clear chronology. Christian Alternative, $23.95 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-78904-194-1 Their language, Syriac-Aramaic, is as close as any living language to the one that Jesus spoke, yet they are forbidden by the Turkish government to teach it to their schoolchildren. Books. Most church history book focus on where Christianity has spread and ignore where it has died out. And then they died out. This book eradicates the often held belief that Christianity is a Western religion. ; God’s Continent, 2007, etc. This book is particularly helpful in establishing many of the core beliefs of western Christianity in the broader and ancient roots of the church. The Lost History of Christianity is an excellent introduction to an obscure subject which the church in America never touches on. by HarperOne, The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died. 2 stars for the organization. The last three chapters are worth reading carefully. I'm curious, and it's interesting. Jenkins argues we need to read about and understand the history of churches in places where they didn't flourish otherwise we are too seduced by the connections between the church and power. John Philip Jenkins was born in Wales in 1952. An informative read for tourists/travelers to Turkey. The Mongols gave more favorable treatment to Christians in their domain for a period but eventually swung toward the Muslims, right around the time the Mongol rule was ending. Jenkins shows how this saying is as true for the world's religions as it is for most anything else. This book has few weaknesses. Indonesia Appoints New Minister of Religious Affairs, Signaling More Robust Opposition to Radicalism, Biden Would Do the World a Favor by Keeping Trump’s China Policy. Philip Jenkins has managed to capture the crucial lost history of what is probably the most important yet unrecognized component of the Christian faith, which would be the Eastern churches. --Publishers Weekly, starred review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion. Matters could easily have developed very differently.”, “The key difference making for survival is rather how deep a church planted its roots in a particular community, and how far the religion became part of the air that ordinary people breathed.”. This was a very interesting and arresting book. Though advertising itself as a history of the global church, Lost History is prin. In 1281, Markos was elected patriarch. The author gives a unique perspective on what happened to the Christian Church in Africa and the Middle East. The book also includes thoughtful analysis of the decline and "extinction" of faiths and their survival and resurgence. In the summer of 2002, I traveled in southeastern Turkey to meet with members of the two-millennia-old Syriac church, of whom only a few thousand are left in their homelands. About the time of Charlemagne’s investiture in 800, the patriarch, or catholicos, of the Church of the East, often called Nestorian, was Timothy, based in Seleucia, in Mesopotamia. It would have been good to explore the major cultural effects of the different role of language in Christian and Islamic missions: the former seeking to bring the Word into the locals’ languages, the latter seeking to bring the locals the Word in Arabic. Jenkins discusses the growth and death of these church communities in broad strokes with fairly detailed examples to help make his point. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Most of the book, I would say, is taken up with a) complaints that Europeans and their descendants know too little about the churches of the East and b) attempts to make the history of those churches 'relevant.' By the beginning of the 20th century, many Middle Eastern communities that had been majority Christian still had Christian minorities of roughly 10%. I read this book in conjunction with another insightful book just reviewed: Transcending Mission, by Michael Stroope. Well, that is one of the topics discussed in this well written, highly informative history. For the first millennium of the church's history, Europe was less Christendom than a dismissed backwater. By Jeff Marlowe In the midst of persecution, the 16th-century reformer Theodore Beza once urged a foe to "remember that the Church is an anvil that has worn out many a hammer." 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