The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

by Bart D. Ehrman
The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

by Bart D. Ehrman

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Overview

New York Times Bestseller: A “marvelous” account of how the tiny sect of Christianity rapidly became the dominant religion in the West (Reza Aslan, New York Times–bestselling author of Zealot).

How did a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the empire become the official religion of Rome, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries? In The Triumph of Christianity, early Christian historian Bart D. Ehrman weaves the rigorously researched answer to this question into “a vivid, nuanced, and enormously readable narrative” (Elaine Pagels, National Book Award–winning author of The Gnostic Gospels), showing how a handful of charismatic characters used a brilliant social strategy and an irresistible message to win over hearts and minds one at a time.

This book upends the way we think about the single most important cultural transformation our world has ever seen—one that revolutionized art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics, and law.

“Reading about how an entire culture’s precepts and traditions can be overthrown without anyone being able to stop it may not be heartening at this particular historical moment. All the more reason to spend time in the company of such a humane, thoughtful, and intelligent historian.” —The New York Times

“[The author] doesn’t tell us what to think. He gives us a lot to think about.” —Newsday

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501136726
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/13/2024
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 353
Sales rank: 14,187
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Bart D. Ehrman is a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity and a distinguished professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The author of six New York Times bestsellers, he has written or edited more than thirty books, including Misquoting Jesus, How Jesus Became GodThe Triumph of Christianity, and Heaven and Hell. Ehrman has also created nine popular audio and video courses for The Great Courses. His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages, with over two million copies and courses sold.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Time Line xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Beginning of the End: The Conversion of Constantine 13

Chapter 2 Back to the Beginning: The Conversion and Mission of Paul 39

Chapter 3 The Religious World of Conversion: Roman Paganism 74

Chapter 4 Reasons for the Christian Success 105

Chapter 5 Miraculous Incentives for Conversion 131

Chapter 6 The Growth of the Church 160

Chapter 7 Christians Under Assault: Persecution, Martyrdom, and Self-Defense 178

Chapter 8 The First Christian Emperor 217

Chapter 9 Conversion and Coercion: The Beginnings of a Christian Empire 243

Afterword Gains and Losses 279

Appendix 287

Notes 295

Index 323

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