The Triumph of Christianity: How a Small Band of Outcasts Conquered an Empire by Bart D. EhrmanFrom the New York Times bestselling authority on early Christianity, the story of how Christianity grew from a religion of twenty or so peasants in rural Galilee to the dominant religion in the West in less than four hundred years.
Christianity didn’t have to become the dominant religion in the West. It easily could have remained a sect of Judaism fated to have the historical importance of the Sadducees or the Essenes. In The Triumph of Christianity, Bart Ehrman, a master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, shows how a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the empire became the official religion of Rome, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries. The Triumph of Christianity combines deep knowledge and meticulous research in an eye-opening narrative that 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.
The Triumph of Christianity: How a Small Band of Outcasts Conquered an Empire
Bart Ehrman answers this baffling question with the same wit, passion, and rigorous scholarship that have made him one of the most popular religion writers in the world today. The Triumph of Christianity is a marvelous book. The author begins in the usual place, with the life of Emperor Constantine, who converted to the Christian faith in and changed the landscape of religious life in Europe from then on. In doing so, Ehrman makes the important point that it is difficult for historians to say what Constantine converted from. Indeed, having swept across the Western world, Christianity erased much of the pagan culture it replaced, leaving current scholars with little evidence of what once existed or even how Christianity made its swift advance.
Mary Beard’s ‘SPQR’ and Tom Holland’s ‘Dynasty’
When my agent Roger and I decided that we might want to explore the possibility of going with a different publisher, the first step was to come up with a book proposal to shop around. For ten years or so I had been wanting to write a particular book, but had always put it off because it had seemed like such a MAJOR undertaking. I came to think that this was the perfect time to pursue it, to propose doing a new book on a completely new topic with a new publisher as a new beginning. The strategy was for me to write a page prospectus in which I would explain what the idea behind the book was, why the topic was both important and interesting, and how I would go about structuring the book. A prospectus like this is designed to get a publisher interested and to give them enough of a sense of what would actually be argued in the book for them to see that it has already been carefully thought through. You have already to have done substantial research on the topic and to know where you want to go with it.