By Linda Woodhead

At a time while Christianity is prospering within the Southern Hempisphere yet declining in a lot of the West, Linda Woodhead deals a daring new evaluate of the world's greatest faith, exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity over millennia.

Christianity addresses subject matters that different books forget, for instance the contest for strength among diversified types of Christianity, the churches' makes use of of strength, and their struggles with modernity. Woodhead additionally considers the new charismatic explosion of Christianity in Latin the US, Africa, and the a ways East. She concludes by way of displaying the ways that those that formerly had the least energy in Christianity--women and non-Europeans--have develop into increaslingly vital to its unfolding story.

Up-to-date, authoritative, and full of clean insights, Christianity: a truly brief creation brings an enormous and sundry topic into sharp focus


`her research is sophisticated and perceptive.' autonomous on Sunday

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Additional resources for Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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6 on page 33). 31 The signs and symbols of Christianity Consider the image of Christ Pantocrator (‘Christ the ruler of all things’), which is located high above the altar in some churches in the East (see Fig. 5 overleaf ). To see it you look upwards, above the earth and the human condition, where the saviour dwells in heavenly splendour. The architecture and decoration in the churches in which the image is set are deliberately designed to give an impression of heaven brought down to earth. In entering one steps out of the mundane world and into a space that gives a foretaste of the higher and better reality that surrounds it – the world of Jesus, Mary, and the saints.

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. ’ 4. The unique God-man None of the above views represent the New Testament’s interpretation of Jesus’ significance. This finds its earliest and in many ways its most systematic expression in Paul’s letters. Paul’s view differs from both adoptionism and gnosticism, and it helped mark the boundaries of what, after the extended period of struggle that will be reviewed in the following chapters, would eventually be established as orthodox ‘Christology’ (literally, ‘words/thought about Christ’).

One reason the priestly office was reserved for men was because it was thought more appropriate for a male to represent the God-man than for a female to do so (see Chapter 7). By the 2nd century all these lines of development were coming together to form the basis of Church Christianity. Its advocates preferred to speak of it as ‘catholic’ which means ‘universal’, or ‘orthodox’ which means ‘true belief’. By presenting itself as the one true, universal form of Christianity, it was possible to make alternative versions of the faith look like deviations from a pure root stock and their followers like schismatics and heretics.

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