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TitleThe Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation
File Size8.6 MB
Total Pages558
Table of Contents
Preface to the Revised and Updated Edition
1 Introduction
	2 The Fullness of Time
		Judaism in Palestine
		Diaspora Judaism
		The Greco-Roman World
	3 The Church in Jerusalem
		Unity and Diversity
		Religious Life
		The Waning of the Jewish Church
	4 Mission to the Gentiles
		The Scope of the Mission
		Paul’s Work
		The Apostles: Facts and Legends
	5 First Conflicts with the State
		A New Jewish Sect
		Persecution Under Nero
		Persecution Under Domitian
	6 Persecution in the Second Century
		The Correspondence Between Pliny and Trajan
		Ignatius of Antioch, the Bearer of God
		The Martyrdom of Polycarp
		Persecution Under Marcus Aurelius
		Toward the End of the Second Century
	7 The Defense of the Faith
		Base Rumors and Lofty Criticism
		The Main Apologists
		Christian Faith and Pagan Culture
		The Arguments of the Apologists
	8 The Deposit of the Faith
		The Response: Canon, Creed, and Apostolic Succession
		The Ancient Catholic Church
	9 The Teachers of the Church
		Irenaeus of Lyons
		Clement of Alexandria
		Tertullian of Carthage
		Origen of Alexandria
	10 Persecution in the Third Century
		Persecution under Septimius Severus
		Under Decius
		The Question of the Lapsed: Cyprian and Novatian
	11 Christian Life
		The Social Origins of Early Christians
		Christian Worship
		The Organization of the Church
		Missionary Methods
		The Beginnings of Christian Art
	12 The Great Persecution and the Final Victory
		Suggested Readings
	13 Constantine
		From Rome to Constantinople
		From the Unconquered Sun to Jesus Christ
		From Persecution to Dominance
		The Impact of the New Order
		Reactions to the New Order
	14 Official Theology: Eusebius of Caesarea
	15 The Monastic Reaction
		The Origins of Monasticism
		The First Monks of the Desert
		Pachomius and Communal Monasticism
		The Spread of the Monastic Ideal
	16 The Schismatic Reaction: Donatism
	17 The Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicea
		The Outbreak of the Controversy
		The Council of Nicea
	18 The Pagan Reaction: Julian the Apostate
		Julian’s Religious Policy
	19 Athanasius of Alexandria
		The Early Years
		Through Many Trials
		A Theological Agreement
		Further Trials
	20 The Great Cappadocians
		Basil the Great
		Gregory of Nyssa
		Gregory of Nazianzus
	21 Ambrose of Milan
		An Unexpected Election
		The Bishop and the Throne
	22 John Chrysostom
		A Voice from the Wilderness
		Return to the Wilderness
	23 Jerome
	24 Augustine of Hippo
		A Tortuous Path to Faith
		Minister and Theologian of the Western Church
	25 Beyond the Borders of the Empire
	26 The End of an Era
		Suggested Readings
	27 The New Order
		The Germanic Kingdoms
		Benedictine Monasticism
		The Papacy
		The Arab Conquests
	28 Eastern Christianity
		The Christological Debates to the Council of Chalcedon
		Further Theological Debates
		The Dissident Churches of the East
		Eastern Orthodoxy After the Arab Conquests
	29 Imperial Restoration and Continuing Decay
		Charlemagne’s Reign
		Theological Activity
		New Invasions
		Decay in the Papacy
	30 Movements of Renewal
		Monastic Reform
		Canonical and Papal Reform
		The Papacy and the Empire in Direct Confrontation
	31 The Offensive Against Islam
		The First Crusade
		Later History of the Crusades
		The Spanish Reconquista
		Consequences of the Offensive against Islam
	32 The Golden Age of Medieval Christianity
		The Mendicant Orders
		One Flock Under One Shepherd
		Theological Activity: Scholasticism
		Missionary Endeavors
		Stones That Bear Witness: Architecture
	33 The Collapse
		New Conditions
		The Papacy Under the Shadow of France
		The Great Western Schism
	34 In Quest of Reformation
		The Conciliar Movement
		John Wycliffe
		John Huss
		Girolamo Savonarola
		The Mystical Alternative
		Popular Movements
	35 Renaissance and Humanism
		The Later Course of Scholasticism
		The Revival of Classical Learning
		A New Vision of Reality
		The Popes of the Renaissance
		Suggested Readings
	36 Spain and the New World
		The Nature of the Spanish Enterprise
		The Protest
		The Caribbean
		Golden Castile
		Colombia and Venezuela
		The Four Corners of the Earth: The Incan Empire
		La Plata
	37 The Portuguese Enterprise
		Toward the Rising Sun
	38 The New World and the Old
		Suggested Readings
Appendix: The Ecumenical Councils
About the Author
Also by Justo L. González
About the Publisher
Document Text Contents
Page 279

The End of an Era

The world goes to ruin. Yes! But in spite of it, and to our shame, our sins
still live and even prosper. The great city, the capital of the Roman
Empire, has been devoured by a great fire, and all over the earth Romans
wander in exile. Churches which once were revered are now but dust and


When Augustine died, the Vandals were laying siege to the city of Hippo.
Shortly thereafter, they were masters of the northern coast of Africa, except
Egypt. A few years earlier, in 410 CE, Rome had been taken and sacked by
Alaric and his Goths. Even earlier, at the battle of Adrianople in 378, an emperor
had been defeated and killed by the Goths, whose troops had reached the very
walls of Constantinople before turning to the West, where the empire was more
vulnerable. The ancient empire, or rather its Western half, was crumbling. For
centuries, Roman legions had been able to hold the Germanic people behind
their borders at the Rhine and the Danube. In Great Britain, a wall separated the
Romanized area from that which was still in control of the barbarians. But now
the floodgates were open. In a series of seemingly endless waves, sometimes
invited by Roman officials who sought their military support, Germanic hordes
crossed the frontiers of the empire, sacked towns and cities, and finally settled in
areas that had been part of the Roman Empire. There they founded their own
kingdoms, many of them supposedly subject to the Roman Empire—which

Page 280

theoretically continued to exist until the deposition of the last emperor in 476—
but in truth independent. Their impact was such that their memory is still present
in the names of many of the regions in Europe where each group settled:
Germany, named after the Germanic invaders, France, England, Lombardy
(named after the Franks, Angles, and Lombards) and many others. The Western
Roman Empire had come to an end, even though most of its conquerors would
eventually speak languages derived from the Latin of the empire, and even
though various European leaders would claim to be the true successors of the
ancient caesars for another fifteen centuries.

Alaric, king of the Goths, took and sacked Rome in 410—an event that produced
consternation throughout the empire and a date that would long stand as a

historical landmark.

The imperial church, which Constantine had inaugurated, continued existing

for another thousand years in the Byzantine Empire. Not so in the West, for it
would be a long time before Western Europe could once again experience the
political unity and relative peace that it had known under Roman rule. It would
also take centuries to rebuild much that had been destroyed, not only in terms of
roads, buildings, and aqueducts, but also in terms of literature, art, and
knowledge of the physical world. In all of these fields, it was the church that
provided continuity with the past. It became the guardian of civilization and of
order. In many ways, the church filled the vacuum left by the demise of the
empire. Centuries later, when the empire was resurrected in the West, this was
accomplished through the action of the church, and it was the pope who crowned
its emperor.

Meanwhile, there were new challenges to be met. Many of the invaders were

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THE STORY OF CHRISTIANITY, VOLUME 1: The Early Church to the Reformation.
Revised and Updated. Copyright © 2010 by Justo L. González. All rights
reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.

ISBN 978–0–06–185588–7

EPUB Edition © December 2014 ISBN 9780062364890

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