"Uniquely, Christianity asserts that its central figure, Jesus Christ, was not only a man but also God. The central elements of its creed-that there are three persons in one God, for example-are often difficult to accept or understand. It emphasizes belief rather than law and ritual practice. And it is highly susceptible to paradox: Bearing a message of peace and unity, it has often been a source of conflict and division. Proclaiming a heavenly kingdom, it has often been deeply involved with mundane politics. Rejecting worldly wisdom, it has claimed the intellectual allegiance of great minds. These apparent contradictions arise from the complex character of Christianity's claims about God, the world, and above all, Jesus of Nazareth, whose death and resurrection form the heart of the good news proclaimed by this religious tradition. ""The lectures concentrate on the basics,"" says Professor Johnson. ""They seek to provide a clear survey of the most important elements of this religious tradition and a framework for the student's further study."" Professor Johnson is the author of several hundred articles and reviews as well as 21 books, including The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (1996). In his course, you will consider fundamental issues including: Christianity's birth and expansion across the Mediterranean world The development of its doctrine Its transformation after Christianity became the imperial religion of Rome Its many and deep connections to Western culture Tensions within Christianity today."
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by Luke Timothy Johnson
by Timothy Taylor
by Timothy Spurgin
"The 12 lectures in this set, part of The Teaching Company's series on major religions, provide a compressed survey of the birth and development of the Christian religion, as well as its ideological and political history over the last two thousand years. Professor Johnson does a skillful job of distilling the potentially overwhelming detail of his subject into a presentation that hits the highlights and puts the major movements and themes of Christian history, theology, and practice into context. The course begins with the life of Christ and the early Church and continues through the theological and institutional development of the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the modern world. M.G. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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