Book Review: The Lost History of Christianity. where they hide in dread! Jenkins places the ending of this world, “the decisive collapse of Christianity in the Middle East, across Asia, and in much of Africa,” not with the initial rise of Islam but in the 14th century. This is a fascinating book which shatters the myth of Christianity as simply a product of "Western Civilization." How could all this history have happened and nobody saw fit to tell us about it? by Philip Jenkins ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 2008. (They were not entirely exterminated in many cases, however, but the believers had to go underground and avoid the attention of the governing polity.). The Asian church was also more intellectually accomplished: Its operating languages were Syriac, Persian, Turkish, Soghdian, and Chinese. The book describes the growth of the Christian Church to the east and south of the Holy Land to about the fourteenth century. Perhaps a quarter of the world’s Christians looked to him as their spiritual and political head. Not really what I was hoping for, nor what it's advertized as. I LIKE that. Yes, so much of the Middle East, Central & East Asia, and N. Africa were once vibrantly Christian. The Lost History of Christianity is a narrative of its rise and fall, as well as a richly textured explanation of why this happened. 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. He does a great job of asking the questions of why things changed--and what caused the demise of Christianity in these areas; there are complex reasons & answers to those questions. The Lost History of Christianity is an excellent introduction to an obscure subject which the church in America never touches on. 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. It seems banal even to note this. 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. Too bad- hopefully Jenkins, or someone else, will actually try to write a solid history of what really is a crazy interesting time. Jenkins discusses the growth and death of these church communities in broad strokes with fairly detailed examples to help make his point. A valuable, insightful book! On December 22, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reshuffled his cabinet. Detailed history of Christianity in the Middle East and Asia, This is my favorite type of history book. Not really what I was hoping for, nor what it's advertized as. The New Faces of Christianity (2006) argued that, since their culture is closer to the Bible, Africans and Asians understand the book very differently from Europeans and North Americans, and find in it a great liberatory force. What is worse, they were never mentioned in my college courses on the history of the early church. The history of Christianity I was taught ran through Europe. He then uses this topic to speak to the larger point of the rise and fall of religions. The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died. 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. And then they died out. Since 1980, he has taught at Penn State University, and currently holds the rank of Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of the Humanities. 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. It again proved to me how complex the first millenium was and how little it is understood in contemporary times. Moffett's goal is actually the history of the existence of Christianity in that region, whereas Jenkins focus on the question 'how do religions die' means the book is aiming at quite different questions. 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, 2008, HarperOne. (The Crusades were a minor sideshow.) The history of Christianity I was taught ran through Europe. By this time, sufficient resentment had built up and Christian communities were persecuted. An eyeopener on a flourishing Christian community that mainstream history ignores. He was educated at Clare College, in the University of Cambridge, where he took a prestigious “Double First” degree—that is, Double First Class Honors. Interesting chapters on the Christian churches in Japan, Arabia and Egypt. The Lost History Blog contains a lot of random entries mostly about politics. By the beginning of the 20th century, many Middle Eastern communities that had been majority Christian still had Christian minorities of roughly 10%. While Christians will be particularly concerned with this story, it will be of interest to, and significant for, far more than they. The Lost History of Christianity unveils a vast and forgotten network of the world's largest and most influential Christian churches that existed to the east of … You know why I care? If you're considering reading this hoping to learn about such communities, I'd recommend Samuel Moffett's History of Christianity in Asia (vol 1). Moffett's goal is actually the history of the existence of Christianity in that region, whereas Jenkins focus on the question 'how do religions die. This book is particularly helpful in establishing many of the core beliefs of western Christianity in the broader and ancient roots of the church. As late as 1900, the Ottoman Empire, (ruled by a Muslim sultan from Constantinople) was only 50% Muslim and 46% Christian; in subsequent years a terrible ethnic cleansing of Christians created a Turkey that is over 97% Muslim. The kind that shows how hidden biases lead us to overlook was is sitting right in front of our eyes. This made for relations that defy many of our usual assumptions about history. Philip Jenkins’s The Lost History of Christianity reads initially like an alternative-history science fiction book. Is this the first book to document Christianity began east of Rome? For most of its history, Christianity was a tricontinental religion, with powerful representation in Europe, Africa and Asia, and this was true into the 14th century. You know what? 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. It was mostly under "non-Arab muslims" that Christianity diminished and almost disappeared in the East, i.e., under the mongols, the mamelukes and the turks. Following massacres by Arabs in 1933, the British flew the patriarch to Cyprus for safety while the League of Nations debated moving them to Brazil or Niger. Jenkins demonstrates that this story is flat wrong—or as he more charitably puts it, “much of what we know is inaccurate.”. We met the only two monks remaining in the monastery of the village of Sare. This should be highlighted e. An eyeopener on a flourishing Christian community that mainstream history ignores. Promoting American leadership and global engagement for a secure, free, and prosperous future. I would much rather have an actual history of them than an argument that we don't have a history of them - which is self-evident, and ignorance of these churches must be the reason most people would read this b. Enter Jenkins' book, smacking me across the face and reminding me what an anglo-European-centered Christian that I am. 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. I got this ebook as a birthday present. The Europeans were amazed to discover both that the church stretched to the shores of the Pacific and that the emissary from the fearsome Mongols was a Christian bishop, one from whom the king of England subsequently took communion. A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness Mark Vernon. The wide acceptance of Christianity and its growth in influence obscures the history of its losses. Timur’s subsequent invasions, among the most brutal in history, furthered the process, as did Seljuk and Ottoman advances and, further east, rising anti-Mongol Chinese nationalism. I really enjoyed this history and learned so much. In all honesty this book was even better than I expected and I highly recommend it. We visited the monastery of Tur Abdin, a major center of Eastern Christianity, now dwindling under suffocating government restrictions. I've never read a history that so thoroughly convinced me that everything I thought I knew about a topic was wrong. In 1281, Markos was elected patriarch. 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. But even then, you will not come away with a clear chronology. The contributions of the Christians in forming the "Islamic Civilisation" are enormous and should be acknowledged. This is my favorite type of history book. Jenkins has done a great service to Christendom in writing this book on its "lost history." How could all this history have happened and nobody saw fit to tell us about it? 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. Yet much of the populations Asia, the Middle East, and northern Africa were Christian for a hundreds of years, if not a millennium. Weekly in your inbox: book reviews, book lists, news, book trivia, and more! Deeply erudite, sure-to-be-controversial history of the persecution of Christian churches throughout the world. The real game-changer was the Mongol invasion. Hence, Prajna did the obvious thing and consulted with Bishop Adam, head of the Chinese church, who was deeply interested in understanding Buddhism. Jenkins ably explains how by labelling these Christians heretics, Nestorians, Jacobites, etc., most historians ignore their thriving communities and the missionary activities that took them to the reaches of India and China. Bring them back in peace!__. 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. What is worse, they were never mentioned in my college courses on the history of the early church. The Lost History of Christianity is of interest to students of religion (Christian and Muslim), Middle Eastern and Church history, and Christian ministry. More importantly, Christians in the East -in the Arab World - survived for 1000 years under the various caliphates. Christianity Today provides thoughtful, biblical perspectives on theology, church, ministry, and culture on the official site of Christianity Today Magazine. $ 11) tells the stories of the … A remarkable study of history that was largely unknown to me--like most people I associated the History of Christianity predominantly with Europe. The Lost History of Christianity is an excellent introduction to an obscure subject which the church in America never touches on. 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. Book Reviewed Philip Jenkins, The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died (New York: HarperOne, 2008). I really thought this book was fascinating. The eastern communities were savaged again in a second great wave of persecution beginning in the 19th century, with the slaughter of the Armenians, and also the Syriacs, Nestorians, and Maronites. Highly recommended for readers of religious history. Start by marking “The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—and How It Died” as Want to Read: Error rating book. That figure diminished to around 3% at the end of the 20th century (the word "genocide" was coined in part to identify a different kind of crime, like the Turk's slaughter of Christian Armenians in 1915 or the Iraqi's killing of Christian Assyrians decades later). Jenkins tells this story with a certain vibrancy that keeps one wanting to continue on to the next page. This should be highlighted especially for today's Arab muslim community so that they get a chance to better understand their history, their Islam and the relationship between Arab Christian and Muslim communities. You know what? While Islam was Christianity'. Being completely ignorant on the Church of the East, I picked up this book. When the British took over Mesopotamia after the First World War, they judged the Assyrians’ situation so desperate that they considered moving them to Canada. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Mission, by Michael Stroope book was even better than I expected I. 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