Part one: Beginnings. A trial ; The seedbed : Judaism in the first century AD ; Jesus before the Gospels ; Breaking away : the first Christianities ; What did Paul achieve? ; The letter to the Hebrews ; Fifty years on : the Gospel writers reflect on Jesus ; John and the Jerusalem Christians ; Creating a New Testament ; No second coming : the search for stability -- Part two: Becoming Christian. Toeholds in a wider empire ; Open borders : the overlapping worlds of Christians and Jews ; Was there a gnostic challenge? ; The idea of a church ; To compromise or reject : confronting the material world -- Interlude one: the earliest Christian art -- Celsus confronts the Christians -- The challenge of Greek philosophy -- Origen and early Christian scholarship -- New beginnings : the emergence of a Latin Christianity -- Victims or volunteers : Christian martyrs -- The spread of Christian communities -- Part three: The imperial church. The motives of Constantine ; Debating the nature of God ; The stifling of Christian diversity ; The assault on paganism ; ’No one is honoured before him’ : the rise of the bishop -- Interlude two: the art of imperial Christianity -- An obsession with the flesh -- The end of optimism : Augustine and the consequences of sin -- Divine but human -- The closing of the schools -- A fragile church : Christianity and the collapse of the western empire -- Faith, certainty, and the unknown God.
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2015. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries