Friday, 10 February 2006

Essential history for theologians

“The history of Christianity is frequently sordid and depressing, and very frequently, apparently sacred events turn out to have very secular causes. Christians will remain beginners in their faith if they do not face up to this. The miracle of the church's story is that after all its mistakes, bewildering transformations and entanglements in human bitterness, it is still there.” —Diarmaid MacCulloch

Jo from JoBloggs is currently completing her PhD in eighteenth-century history. So I asked her to compile a list of “essential history for theologians.” Jo has come up with the following list of 11 essential history books—what would you add?

1. Flavius Josephus, War of the Jews
2. Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
3. Henry Chadwick, The Early Church
4. Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church
5. Peter Brown, The Rise of Western Christendom
6. Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation
7. W. R. Ward, The Protestant Evangelical Awakening
8. Adrian Hastings (ed.), A World History of Christianity
9. Hugh McLeod, Religion and the People of Western Europe, 1789-1989
10. George Marsden, Religion and American Culture
11. Mary T. Malone, Women and Christianity (3 vols)

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