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Christiani ty’s Lost History

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    Christianity’s Lost History BOOK REVIEW Recovering a Forgotten Chapter by J. Peter Pham Nowadays, any serious discussion of the shifting demographics of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2009
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      Christianity�s Lost History

      BOOK REVIEW

      Recovering a Forgotten Chapter
      by J. Peter Pham

      Nowadays, any serious discussion of the shifting demographics of Christianity inevitably leads to Philip Jenkins, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of the Humanities in History and Religious Studies at Penn State University.

      While Christianity was born in the Levant, today its history is largely thought of in terms the two great centers, both in Europe, around which the ecclesiastical politics within the Roman Empire coalesced�Rome and Constantinople. What gets forgotten is that there were other great centers beyond the frontiers of the oikoumene and that much of what is now referred to as �the Islamic world� was once Christian.
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      To illustrate his point, Jenkins focuses on the figure of Timothy I (727-823) who, in 780, was enthroned as patriarch, or catholicos, of the Church of the East, then based in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Seleucia, less than two dozen miles southeast of modern Baghdad. According to Jenkins, �in terms of his prestige, and the geographical extent of his authority, Timothy was arguably the most significant Christian spiritual leader of his day, much more influential than the Western pope, in Rome, and on par with the Orthodox patriarch in Constantinople,� since �perhaps a quarter of the world�s Christians looked to Timothy as both spiritual and political head.�
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      Full Text:
      http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/april-29-2009/christianitys-lost-history/2834/
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