Sociologist Rodney Stark identifies and examines the dynamics that, according to him, account for the amazing rise of Christianity from an obscure, marginal movement, to the dominant religious force in the Western world in a few centuries time.
This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won--for Jesus" ("Newsweek") is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. "Compelling reading" ("Library Journal") that is sure to "generate spirited argument" ("Publishers Weekly"), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for "The Rise of Christianity" makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews--and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).
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