Talk:The Rise of Christianity

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A problem here comes from the fact that we hae just defined paganism at the time of the rise of Chritianity as the religion of the poor peasants not the rich urbanites. So if the rise of Christianity is to be discussed as a movement of the rich, then their previous religion should not be called paganism. I expect that paganism is the term used in the book but how do we reconcile the definitions? --rmhermen


well, to be blunt its a rather controversial book. Both types of paganism existed, and both types of Christianity. There were elites and peasants in both. The main thrust of it though is, to believe the reviews, (not very controversially) to counter mid-20th c. ideas of a kind of Christian Socialism converting the empire by mutual support, which was in itself a reaction against elitist studies that neglected common people in favor of the literate and the evidence they left, in your typical cycle of academic fashion running back to Hume, at least. --MichaelTinkler


Oh, and I haven't read the book (just reviews) but I wonder how he balances pro-child policies with ascetic celibacy in terms of rapid growth. Just a thought. --MichaelTinkler


Well, I've read it, and I mainly understand it as an attempt to apply some of the concepts of modern sociology to the history of Christianity -- to let interact two fields that don't often have much to do with each other.

I can't remember him mentioning ascetic celibacy in terms of population growth; but I would guess that he would say that rather few (in terms of the total proportion of Christians) were celibates, and that those births lost by celibacy were more than made up for by those gained through increased fertility -- Simon J Kissane


I take it that in the interests of neutrality we can expect to see a similar article detailing The Decline of Christianity? Or is this just merely wishful thinking on my part? ;-) sjc\

No, it's just your religious bigotry showing. Dogface 13:02, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Although it is not vogue to have a negative opinion about religion, especially Christianity, I would have to say that your statement, DogFace, is the bigoted one. Religion as any other topic, is open to debate and criticism by intelligent thinking people, not above it. Anyone who says otherwise might rightly be accused of fearing the truth in their refusal to even hear, let alone discuss, any dissenting opinion. Tsingi (talk) 17:14, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


Perhaps this should be redirected to something like The Rise of Christianity, book since it is a discussion of a book about the topic and not the topic itself and in general? --rmhermen


The book is a mess. He invents a "Christianity" that never existed to contrasta against a "Paganism" that never existed. Dogface 13:02, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Build A Better Meme and the world will beat a path to your door.[edit]

Why Christianity grew is an interesting topic; but it stikes me that one obvious answer is simply that it was a better meme than the other belief systems which then existed. By 'better' I don't mean 'truer' but rather that it was, amongst other things, more attractive and believable, and therefore more likely to be believed and passed on to others. The old Roman and Greek gods didn't have a book, a philosphy or an 'explanation for everything' - nor did they offer their followers eternal life. No contest: Christians 1 Pagans 0. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.5.13.221 (talk) 15:44, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Possible WP:COPYVIO?[edit]

I have reverted recent edits as a possible copyright violation, as it looks like a cut and paste job from another source. Please accept my apologies if this is incorrect. If it is not a violation it needs to be wikified. Editor2020 (talk) 22:27, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Reception[edit]

These are obviously back-of-the-book type endorsement blurbs. Ideally, this section would include independent reviews. Matt2h (talk) 23:06, 8 October 2013 (UTC)