Interpreting Christian History: The Challenge of the Churches' Past
August 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
Diversities of Belief, Practice, and Priorities.
History and Diversity.
Steering Between Two Extremes.
The Compass and Structure of the Book.
History and Theory.
1 The Unfolding of Christian History: a Sketch.
Christianity: a Jewish Heresy Spreads Across the Eastern Empire.
Greek and Latin, East and West.
Persecution, Legal Establishment, Empowerment, and Retreat.
The Eastern Church, the Spread of Islam, and Expansion Northwards.
The Western Church of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.
Disputes over Control, and the Rise of a Continental Church.
The High Medieval Synthesis.
Later Middle Ages: the Era of Fragmentation.
Challenges and Ruptures: Renaissance and Reformation.
The Age of Competing Orthodoxies.
Challenges to Orthodoxy: Reason, Enlightenment, and Revolution.
The Era of Romanticism and its Implications.
The Multiple Crises of the Twentieth Century.
Reflecting on the Process of Historical Development.
2 Constantly Shifting Emphases in Christian History.
Means to Holiness Become Ultimate Goals.
Asceticism: Giving Things Up for God.
Sacrament and Sacrifice: the Eucharistic Church.
The Company of Heaven: the Communion of Saints.
Purity of Doctrine and Instruction: the School of Faith.
The Christian Community and its Membership.
Reflections on Shifting Priorities.
3 Church Historians’ Responses to Change and Diversity.
The Early Church: Eusebius of Caesarea.
Early Medieval Church History: Bede.
The High Middle Ages: A Monastic Chronicle.
Renaissance Historiography: Rhetoric and Skepticism.
The Reformation and the Rise of a Sense of History.
The Rise of Reformed Schools of Church History.
Confessional Histories in the Age of Orthodoxy.
Writing Christian History in the Shadow of the Enlightenment.
Toward “Modern” Histories of Christianity.
Postmodern and Liberation-oriented Approaches to Christian History.
Summary and Conclusions.
4 Some Theologians Reflect on the Historical Problem.
The Historical Background to Historical-critical Theology.
The Challenge of Ludwig Feuerbach to “Modernizing” Theology.
German Liberal Protestant Theology of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century.
Responses to Liberalism in the Twentieth Century.
Thomism, Mysticism, and Neo-liberalism: Some Roman Catholic Responses.
Cultural Diversity, Liberation, Postliberalism, and Postmodernity.
Drawing the Threads Together.
- An exploration of the theological lessons to be learnt from the difficult history of the Christian churches over the past 2,000 years
- Opens with an introductory essay on the whole of Church history, making the book suitable for lay readers as well as students
- Combines historical, historiographical and theological analysis
- Reunites the disciplines of theology and Church history
- Concludes that we can only ever perceive a facet of Christianity given our historical and cultural conditioning
- Written by a distinguished Church historian.
History and Sociology of Religion
"Expert historians are not always as good at self-reflecting on their craft at practicing that craft. Euan Cameron, however, is an exemption as shown by his careful assessment of what the historians of this and previous generations have both taken for granted and spelled out explicitly in writing the history of Christianity. As one might expect from a distinguished student of the sixteenth century, Interpreting Christian History is particularly good on what the rise of Protestantism meant for understanding the Christian past." Mark Noll, Wheaton College