Christianity in History: A Study of Religious Development

Christianity in History: A Study of Religious Development

Christianity in History: A Study of Religious Development

Christianity in History: A Study of Religious Development

Excerpt

This work more than most needs some words of preface touching its scope. For it is a venture on rather novel lines. It is not a history of the Christian Church, nor again a sketch of the development of Christian doctrine, for instance like Allen Continuity of Christian Thought. It comes somewhere midway between the two, being less complete and concrete than the former, more manysided than the latter.

Ours is in fact an attempt to set forth the genesis and growth of certain of the more typical forms and phases which Christianity--whether as conduct, piety, thought, or organised Church life--has assumed under the conditioning influences first of the Roman Empire and then of the Western civilisation that was its successor and heir. Thus, of books known to us, ProfessorPercy Gardner Growth of Christianity is most akin to ours. Yet, apart from its larger scale, ours differs from his a good deal in scope and execution.

Such a work necessarily involves much selection and omission; and the resulting perspective cannot but have about it a large subjective element. It is frankly an interpretation in broad outline. As such it runs its own special risks; against which must however be set possible gains in clarity and simplicity of impression which selective emphasis, if only it be reasonably true, can best secure.

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