I heartily recommend it. Why is this the case? This text teaches with the authority of the Apostle that. Christianity radically and attractively redefined the God-to-man and man-to-man relationships.
Stark assesses the two factors namely 1 the excessive religious pluralism and freedom in Rome, and 2 the weaknesses of Paganism that gave Christianity the opportunity to grow. Stark gives aid and comfort to triumphalist Christians in one respect but not in another.
As a Christian, I would say that in addition to the reasons proposed by Stark, the Holy Spirit was at work in the establishment and growth of the Jesus movement, convicting hearts of sin and drawing people into a realization of who God was and what he had done to Rise of christianity by rodney stark with sin and what its implications are for daily living.
The epidemics in the middle of the second century were significant in winning converts to Christianity. Thus, the ability of a religious group to continue to maintain and expand its social networks, allow the new groups to grow. Do we know more about the terrible frustrations of the ancient urban dwellers?
Why Does a Religious Movement Grow? Beyond this, however, one may point out that, a la Collingwood, history writing is not merely a matter of cataloguing data. For the sick and homeless, it offered service.
But Stark also counters the common Christian perspective by showing how the number of martyrs was never very large, and the persecutions that took place broke out intermittently and never focused on all Christians everywhere. People may have been attracted at first to the promise of community support or more dignified treatment, but what held them there and made them willing to die for this new cause was something more powerful than external benefits.
Baur and Walter Bauer, Jewish Christianity continued to thrive at least well into the fourth century. Although he claims that generalization is possible, logically there must be some significant fundamental changes in societies and how human behaves from the first four to the 20th century that might affect the validity of the generalizations.
Stark does not discount the role of martyrdom, but he puts it into perspective. It uses enlightening sociological propositions in its analysis of historical data, which help to strengthen its already convincing and original arguments.
While others fled cities, Christians stayed in urban areas during plague, ministering and caring for the sick. Stark points to a number of advantages that Christianity had over paganism to explain its growth: Nowadays their theory, which aims to explain religious involvement in terms of rewards and compensators, is seen as a precursor of the more explicit recourse to economic principles in the study of religion as later developed by Laurence Iannaccone and others.
The result is stimulating, provocative, and revolutionary. What about the Martyrs? Let me state my thesis: Life in the city was one of disease, misery and fear, providing Christians with the opportunity not only to imagine a better world in the distant future but also solutions for present-day problems Secondly, new religious groups draw their converts mainly from discontent, inactive, and members of relatively irreligious backgrounds.
He never treats paganism as a single, monolithic entity, always addressing albeit tangentially the various religious traditions which make up the category we now refer to as "paganism". Stark begins by developing a projection on how fast Christianity grew in the first four centuries.
Rodney Stark also came out with a new book last year, titled The Triumph of Christianity: These explanations helped Christians cope with the disasters, which in turn helped Christians survive at higher rates than pagans.
Some biblical scholars seem more concerned with the methods than with the ostensible subject matter, with the result that New Testament texts wind up serving mainly as a series of illustrations for a book on ancient Mediterranean peasant sociology.
The Role of Godly Women Another factor in the rise of early Christianity centers on the role of women in the early church.
Because Christians were more likely to survive the plagues, pagans found new friendships with Christians whose faith would have been appealing in the midst of such turmoil Christian historians often point to the testimony of the martyrs as a major reason for the rise of Christianity.
Stark argues that Christianity was not a lower-class or marginalised movement and, if anything, drew most of its members from elites. Stark wrote that Christianity exposed the weaknesses of paganism and provided an alternative way of life, one in which love, acceptance, and care were central.
Christianity teaches that God is a God of universal and self-giving love, and that obligates us to love not just those who belong to our family, country, or religion, but all people, even if that means disadvantaging ourselves.
Each of these statements is part of the common culture, widely accepted and frequently repeated. Stark has suggested that Christianity grew because it treated women better than pagan religions.Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History.
Princeton University Press, Reviewed by Robert M. Price. O ne of the hottest growth industries in the field of New Testament studies is New Testament Sociology and Anthropology.
Some biblical scholars seem more concerned with the methods than with the ostensible subject matter, with the result that New Testament. What Stark ultimately offers is a multifaceted portrait of early Christianity, one that appeals to practical reasoning, historical curiosity, and personal reflection.
Rodney Stark is Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion at the University of Washington.
Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. His thirty books on the history and sociology of religion include The Rise of Christianity, Cities of God, For the Glory of God, Discovering God, and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western fmgm2018.com received his Ph.D.
from the University of California, Berkeley. The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History by Rodney Stark The idea that Christianity started as a clandestine movement among the poor is a widely accepted notion. Yet it is one of many myths that must be discarded if we are to understand just how a tiny messianic movement on the edge of the Roman Empire became the dominant.
Stark has written over 30 books, including The Rise of Christianity (), and more than scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as prejudice, crime, Rodney Stark, "How Christianity (and Capitalism) Led to Science". The Chronicle of Higher Education. December 2, t Direct all carresponince to Rodney Stark, Universiry of Washington DK40, Seattle, WA And if the rise of Christianity can be explained only by resort to miracles, then social science would seem to have little to contribute.
Fortunately, the "facts" justifying the miraculous assumption were wrong.Download