But in a world where it was sincerely believed that believing the, I had seen a review of this book, and duly checked it out of the library; who knew that Church controversies of the 5th century could be so interesting, and so much fun to read? Jesus is a made for TV movie from 1999 that retells the greatest and most famous of all stories-the life of Jesus as told in The Gospels. As the Spirit makes the truths of Jesus known to you, you must hold fast to them (1 Corinthians 15:2), take cover in them, and learn to proactively fight with them. Jenkins demonstrates complete command of his material, which is always presented in a balanced, concise manner. What an accomplishment! Jenkins is not the best at keeping a reader engaged and helping the reader to keep the players straight, though he tries very hard to do so. It didn’t help that Nestorius denounced her for sexual immorality and removed her image from above the altar. She identified herself with the Theotokos (God-Bearer) mother of Christ, calling herself the Bride of Christ, and acting “almost as matriarch of the church, as well as Augusta. He was educated at Clare College, in the University of Cambridge, where he took a prestigious “Double First” degree—that is, Double First Class Honors. As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to... To see what your friends thought of this book, Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years, Honestly, I struggled a bit to get through this. This is a fantastic, thorough, and fairly neutral historical run through the 3rd-6th centuries of the Christian church. The author of Jesus Wars, Peter Jenkins, who is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, … I love reading history. "Review Of "Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, And Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe For The Next 1,500 Years" By P. Jenkins". 4.0 out of 5 starsHighly recommended. Choice. Posted on 06/13/2010 by rhapsodyinbooks. I like thinking about it. The two main goals of Chalcedon were to repeal Second Ephesus, and repudiate the false teachings of Nestorius (emphasis on two natures but not wholly united) and Eutyches (insistence on Christ’s divinity alone). This is a good book. What an accomplishment! Chalcedon accomplished both goals. In contrast, many modern believers struggle with contemplating a Jesus who is more than human.” (p. 275). This is like a 200 level history course on the history of the Church councils during the 5th century. This book is an eye-opener for Christians who are engaged in church conflict over theological issues. I am absolutely fascinated with the Roman Empire. That, probably, was the level at which the baker and the money changer carried on their debates.” (p. 66). The ones who walked beside Him on the journey, the ones who left everything to follow Him, the ones who shared meals with Him and watched Him perform miracles. Jenkins shows us why loyalty to, say, Monophysite ideas could inspire violence, treason and martyrdom. Director: J.J. Abrams Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Naomi Ackie, Lupita Nyong'o, Billy Dee Williams, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid Running Time: 2 hours, 22 minutes He is also the Edwin Erle Sparks … Of course a quick glance at the appendix reveals a larger list of characters who are inevitably enveloped in this historical narrative (and one should reserve the need to access this appendix often if they are to make their way through to the end of this somewhat disorganized material). Luther “leaned toward an Alexandrian interpretation of Christ’s role [and] taught that Christ’s divine and human natures experienced an interchange of divine and human qualities …which mingled the two natures in a way that Chalcedonians forbade. I am glad I did, because I now have a single volume popular history on the late antique church councils and the politics that surrounded them that I can pass on to others as a good book. It is exciting. Wow! In 268, the church dismissed the word as heretical nonsense; sixty years later, it was the watchword for unifying orthodoxy.”, Thought Provoking Books Every Christian Should Read, Must Read Books for the Thinking Christian, Goodreads Members Suggest: 32 ‘Vacation’ Reads. A kind of prequel to his outstanding The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia — and How It Died, an historical account of Christian churches in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and points east, Philip Jenkins, professor of history at Baylor University and Co-Director for Baylor's Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion, has produced an equally outstanding and well-written account of the l. A kind of prequel to his outstanding The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia — and How It Died, an historical account of Christian churches in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and points east, Philip Jenkins, professor of history at Baylor University and Co-Director for Baylor's Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion, has produced an equally outstanding and well-written account of the little-known Christology controversy of the 5th and later centuries that ripped Christianity into violent factions and established what mainstream Christians (Catholics, Orthodox, and most Protestants) believe to this day. Who knew that the process looked more like a poorly run political convention? Nestorius himself was not allowed to attend the council, and was informed of the Council’s decision “by a letter amicably addressed to ‘the new Judas.’” (p. 155) Sent to a monastery in Antioch, Nestorius was shortly after exiled in Egypt until his death. A chronicle of the main influences and events leading up to the major church conflicts during the fifth century, and a narration of the aftermath of these councils and divisive theological formulations, Jesus Wars walks the reader through these times as if she or he was a contemporary eyewitness. It is clearly not introductory level, but for anyone who has at least a small understanding of the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, this is an excellent source to read a fairly thorough history all in one volume. Directed by Stephen Marshall. The struggle over this controversy contributed to the downfall of the eastern empire (the western empire had already dissolved by 476) as it helped, along with constant barbarian invasions, exhaust the empire’s resources and energy to defend against the Islamic attack in the 7th century. Their emphasis on the historicity of the text brought into relief the humanity of Jesus, and therefore both his divinity and his humanity were upheld as biblical truth. With Khalid Kelly, Aaron D. Taylor, Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad Fostok, Sam Harris. Another factor that shaped the Christological debates was the imperial influence. She became leader … of an extravagant cult devoted to Mary, and together with her following of virgins and holy women, she played a visible role in the public liturgies.” (p. 117-118). However, the movie also takes liberties with The Bible, which at times makes it a compelling perspective on the most influential person in history. March 9th 2010 Mary is the Theotokos, the God-Bearer! If you're truly interested in the antecedents of Christianity, and you're willing to put up with numerous pages arguing about whether Jesus had a mom, then this is the book for you. Having seen the titles of Jenkins' other books, it is clear that he is a practicing Christian. The term ‘Jesus Wars’ … Jesus Wars is a fascinating tour-de-force of historical writing. Due to his views of Christ, he rejected Mary’s title as Theotokos (God-Bearer – which implied the divine nature of Christ), in favor of Chisto-tokos (Christ-Bearer). I have to say, I still love this movie. Jenkins covers a huge amount of information that I cannot keep straight without referencing the material. It seems that one faction's heresies are another faction's orthodoxies. By mid-sixth century, the Justinian dynasty reinforced the Chalcedon formulations, and regularly persecuted and discriminated against the Monophysites, who eventually reorganized and seceded from the Church. To a more objective reader it appears that the evidence for Christ’s divinity is pretty thin, and that makes the struggle for asserting his alleged true identity even more tragic. Some formal unity was achieved in 433, after two years of reconciliatory negotiations. Touching down in four hotbeds of religious fundamentalism - Pakistan, Lebanon, UK, and heartland … The times had turned, and “Leo’s representatives made it clear that they would not take their seats if Dioscuros was allowed his.” (p. 204) The Egyptians “literally threw themselves on the ground to plead not to be forced to sign Leo’s Tome [saying:] ‘We shall no longer be able to live in the province…. Imperial forces were present to forestall violence. Barely, the rebels jump to light speed. Yet this Christology, which I take for granted, came at the cost of many lives and centuries of debate, schism and reconciliation. Jenkins writes: “Try as they might to develop institutions or to determine truth … churches have never found a path that avoids the powerful pressures of individual ambition and political interest.”, For over 1,500 years, the Christian Church (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant alike), preserved the Two Natures view of Christ as formulated at Chalcedon in 451. Ironically, the See of Rome, who participated in dispossessing Nestorius, now favored a Two Natures Christ (granted, in a modified form than Nestorius’s) over the former Alexandrian ally. Each side was represented by popes and patriarchs, emperors and empresses, theologians and the masses. Popes, patriarchs, abbots and Princes contested for the reputation of their cities and their holy places. For as long as the Christian church functioned in Egypt, Syria, and Constantinople, unity was never achieved. In his conclusion he suggests that history shows us that it was the most unlikely doctrinal stances that remained to conquer the modern age. Primarily focused on the Christologies that divided the church multiple times (and yet still today), the author takes you on a convoluted, but well-articulated series of events. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published The Christian patriarchate in Egypt acted almost as a theocracy, asserting its authority over the civil sphere when the latter was seen as contradicting the divine will. Any study of the history of Christianity will lead one to realize just what a human-constructed faith it is, and how detrimental it has been to the development of mature political and social structures since the Roman Empire. I read a lot about Christian history and what most strikes me how hard it was to go from the Jewish cult of Jesus - which sort of made sense in its apocalyptic message, to the post-Jewish cult religion that took shape among the non-Jews. He does so by acknowledging the Christian struggles of the first threee centuries (when the question was whether Jesus was divine), and some of the consequences of those centuries (too briefly mentioning the relation between non-orthodox Christians and Islam in. In Jesus Wars, he takes one of the most complex, abstruse questions in the history of the Western World and make it clear enough for the average joe in the fifth pew to understand. Alas, this book delves deep into convoluted details of theology, which I could not possibly care less about, and so I gave it up on page 23. Alas, this book delves deep into convoluted details of theology, which I could not possibly care less about, and so I gave it up on page 23. There were numerous nuances of each position that had their supporters, but this was the main general issue. The religious debates of the fifth century were literally wars that involved not only frequent expulsion from the church, but also violently-enforced sacramental rituals, massacres, persecutions, and even coups d’etat? This book talks about what happened after Constintine made Chritianity a legal religion within the Roman Empire and how it developed during the next 300 or 400 years. Jenkins reviews in great detail the history of Christian doctrinal infighting from the first century through the middle-ages, and even currently. 0 57. Distinctions that boggle the mind. This book details how the political maneuverings in the 5th century affected what is officially thought and taught about Jesus. “In any theological struggle, the first thousand years are always the bitterest.”, “Ironically, the same church gathering that had denounced Paul of Samosata back in 268 had explicitly condemned the term homoousios, which that earlier council had regarded as one of Paul’s heretical innovations. I am glad I did, because I now have a single volume popular history on the late antique church councils and the politics that surrounded them that I can pass on to others. The Church of Rome would be the one to carry Christianity further, and the debates with Alexandria and the East ceased by default. Book Review: Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years. The debate, however, continued, and by 600 AD the Church had still not achieved unity on the nature of Christ. However, when I saw that the Philip Jenkins is indeed an academic historian with serious credentials, I decided to give the book a read. The author describes the Chalcedonian Council as it it were a particularly raucous Party Convention. The history is convoluted, involving dozens of religious, civil and military leaders over hundreds of years, and the intricate political machinations are dizzying and difficult to keep track of, not to mention the complicated theological disputes about the Trinity, Christology, and Mary. I can't praise Philip Jenkins enough! Readers can easily see that Jenkins wrote this book for television. It rejected Dioscuros of Alexandria and the One Nature teaching, declared that Jesus had two natures (the hypostatic union of the divine and human), and attributed Mary the title of Mother of Christ (both of the human and divine incarnate Christ, but not of the eternal God). Of course a quick glance at the appendix reveals a larger list of characters who are inevitably enveloped in this historical narrative (and one. In Jesus Wars, he explains the origins of some little-known (to Westerners) branches of Christianity, including the churches of Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Armenia, and … This is a succinct but powerful point that sheds light on modern events. This book details how the political maneuverings in the 5th century affected what is officially thought and taught about Jesus. The complex issues of Christology are addressed comprehensively by mashing up the various theological councils from the fourth though seventh centuries and their resulting creeds. But mostly it is about the battles within the Church about what people were supposed to believe. Jesus Wars is a must for the bookshelf of those who enjoy the work of Jared Diamond, Karen Armstrong, … Queens and Princesses schemed in the background. Who was Jesus? Gives an "insider look" at the issues and personalities involved, at the forces that shaped and determined the outcome, that gav. Rather than thinking through the implications of theology, they followed personalities and names: they were Cyril’s party, or Dioscuros’s.” (p. 66) “Ideological debate became a game of guilt by association.” (p. 67) Theological ideas were often summarized in slogans and simple phrases, such as: “We will not divide Christ! The Egyptians manifested a strong tendency to dismiss anything that Two Natures theologians preached, and if a stereotype was attached to a name, nothing that person preached was perceived as good or theologically correct. While it is good to learn about the post-First Council of Nicea history of the Catholic Church (back when “Catholic” meant basically everybody who was Christian), with all its colorful clerics, Emperors, Princesses and barbarians who affected the development of same, as well as the various Christian Heresies which read like hair-splitting on the sub-atomic level, I guess I was looking for more of a philosophical exploration of the ramifications of the Heresies themselves. For several hundred years, especially in the 400s and following centuries, the whole world revolved around literal and figurative wars over who Jesus was. Unfortunately, this did not settle matters, and it took another couple hundred years where the two views see-sawed in dominance and bishops met at several more councils before the Two Nature belief triumphed. Many educated Westerners have a vague memory that there were councils that produced creeds and definitions and edicts, but most have little understanding of the processes, personalities, and agendas that so greatly shaped Christianity and therefore much of the world's culture. Jenkins covers a huge amount of information that I cannot keep straight without referencing the material. Probably because that's where my ancestors lived – my family comes from all over Italy, some were Italian Jews, most were Italian natives, and I always wonder who we were. Since 1980, he has taught at Penn State University, and currently holds the rank of Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of the Humanities. God the Word died! For the union … of two natures has been accomplished.” (p. 160), Pope Leo of Rome, through the skilled Tome, provided overwhelming arguments for the two natures of Christ. It is a complex and coherent narrative. I learned a ton about Christology from this book - that is the study of the nature of Christ for all you non-theologians like myself. Eventually, the Muslim population outgrew the Christian communities, who were gradually subjected to discriminatory laws. Jenkins does not himself press this perspective but seems to kindly welcome it enough that one may surmise this as his own perspective. At the same time he clarifies the subject of Christology, he presents these dusty ideas and arguments with the passion and fascination that they held for the early Christians of Alexandria and Antioch. These patriarchates were involved in very heated debates regarding the nature of Christ, the Trinity, and the nature of Mary, the mother of Christ? Jesus Wars. John Philip Jenkins was born in Wales in 1952. Ultimately, the book calls for a hard look at what unity can mean, at what cost it may be achieved, and for which purposes it is fought for. The history of these church debates shows us that theology is determined by a number of factors, such as culture (which influences not only the hermeneutical approach to biblical interpretation, but also the approach to solving conflict and differences), key influential figures, the interplay of church and state, and historical accident. Star Wars: The Last Jedi may be the most polarizing episode in the saga yet. Jesus Wars is one such book. His talent in story-telling makes this book easy to read, yet still provokes us to place our world in a world full of disputations. In 1978, he obtained his doctorate in history, also from Cambridge. Adelina Alexe is a Ph.D. student in systematic theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. What does it really mea. P. Linwood Urban. At the same time he clarifies the subject of Christology, he presents these dusty ideas and arguments with the passion and fascination that they held for the early Christians of Alexandria and Antioch. Why would you describe the debate over the natures of Christ as a war? Jesus Prays for His Disciples – John 17:6-19. STAR WARS VIII: THE LAST JEDI opens with the totalitarian First Order’s starships attacking the Resistance rebel base. I can't praise Philip Jenkins enough! This is a good book. With no heir to the throne, and a woman being ineligible to rule, Pulcheria married Marcion in order to give the empire a ruler. While it is good to learn about the post-First Council of Nicea history of the Catholic Church (back when “Catholic” meant basically everybody who was Christian), with all its colorful clerics, Emperors, Princesses and barbarians who affected the development of same, as well as the various Christian Heresies which read like hair-splitting on the sub-atomic level, I guess I was looking for more of a philosophical exploration of the ramifications of the Heresies themselves. Their violent tendencies are chronicled at the Second Council of Nicaea: “May those who divide Christ be divided with the sword, may they be hewn in pieces may they be burned alive!” (p. 1) Church historian Socrates writes: “The Alexandrian public is more delighted with tumult than any other people: and if at any time it should find a pretext, breaks forth into the most intolerable excesses; for it never ceases from its turbulence without bloodshed.” (p. 93). Jenkins discusses the Christological debates leading up to the Chalcedon Creed and beyond; the book centers around the fifth century. Calvin, in contrast, was much more Antiochene in insisting on the reality of both natures, human as well as divine.” (p. 272), Since the sixteenth century, the idea of kenosis (God deliberately relinquishing divine attributes in incarnation), which implied that one of the Persons of the Trinity suffered, has been at the forefront of theology. It's all quite complicated and bloody, filled with armies of monks marauding across Europe and the Middle East, and all over philosophical differences so slight I can hardly keep them straight. However, when I saw that the Philip Jenkins is indeed an academic historian with serious credentials, I decided to give the book a read. (For those not wishing to read further, I loved the book, although it’s hard to keep track who is what at a few points without a scorecard.). Given his Christian faith (according to Wikipedia he converted to Episcopalianism from Catholicism), it isn’t surprising that he dismisses doubts that Jesus is God, that such a view is the harbor for cynics. As it turned out, the One Nature backers, which now included the Antiochans, were able to more easily follow their beliefs under Islam than they were under the Roman Empire, at least for a few centuries. What does it really mean if Christ was only divine and not human? John Philip Jenkins was born in Wales in 1952. There is a wealth fo information, and the lists of figures and councils at the end of chapters was appreciated. I learned a ton about Christology from this book - that is the study of the nature of Christ for all you non-theologians like myself. Have pity on us!’ They weren’t exaggerating.” (p. 208). These concepts may seem trivial or overly academic. Alexandrian theologians, influenced by the Egyptian culture and the Greek philosophical heritage, read the Bible allegorically, and fought for a One Nature Christ. “He makes wars cease throughout the earth. If one thinks about how the Church decided what was normative in belief at all, one imagines conferences with debate teams, with everyone working out their differences amicably. Start by marking “Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years” as Want to Read: Error rating book. I admit that I was extremely skeptical when I first saw it, assuming it to be some sort of modern nonsense on how Constantine created Christianity or something like that. Nestorius is deemed to have written: “when I found and read this account, I gave thanks to God that the Church of Rome was confessing correctly and without fault, although they were otherwise disposed towards me myself.” While Nestorianism continued to be seen as a heresy, “most of what Nestorius actually viewed now stood an excellent chance of being publicly reaffirmed.” (p. 187). Church fathers, endured great hardship in producing. Seing that the church laws limited the right of bishops to “operate outside their jurisdictions, and Alexandria had no power over Constantinople[,] It was essential to make Nestorius’s errors as outrageous as possible.” (p. 141) Additionally, finding an ally in empress Pulcheria, who in turn influenced Theodosius’s decisive stance, was critical for the official condemnation of Nestorius as heretic. Bloggers and authors have discussed and debated the meaning of the shift and its possible causes. The title is self explanatory: Jenkin's is looking to show how 9 people (Patriarchs, Queens and Emperors) decided what sort of Christian doctrine would win out in the end as the world moved towards our current age. Primarily focused on the Christologies that divided the church multiple times (and yet still today), the author takes you on a convoluted, but well-articulated series of events that are defined as fortunate or unfortunate, depending on which side you fall (or, you could chalk it up to "providence", if that's your preference). But in a world where it was sincerely believed that believing the wrong thing could remove your hope of Heaven in the next world and your hope of Peace in this world, perhaps the process couldn’t have happened any other way. While Jenkins is most comfortable with the theology, he is clearer in the socio-political context of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Centuries. This is a nice back door way to get some basic theology while ostensibly reading history. As someone looking for more history than philosophy, this didn't work for me. Mob actions such as beatings or kidnappings were endorsed by influential figures like Cyril and Athanasius. This is a fantastic, thorough, and fairly neutral historical run through the 3rd-6th centuries of the Christian church. Your new book is called Jesus Wars. These concepts may seem trivial or overly academic to us today, but men clubbed each other in city streets and died in flames for love of these ideas. Truly well done. I admit that I was extremely skeptical when I first saw it, assuming it to be some sort of modern nonsense on how Constantine created Christianity or something like that. (p. 174) The attack on Nestorianism resurrected in a war against Antiochism. The Christological aspect has practical implications as a devotional work for those who approach the book from the perspective of a practicing Christian - again such as myself. He also has a sense of humor that peeps out on occasion "In any theological struggle, the first thousand years are always the bitterest.". Theodosius I declared Christianity the official religion of the empire, and enforced religious conformity. What struck me was just how violently Christians attacked one another over the smallest variation in whatever was the "orthodox" view of the moment. The title is self explanatory: Jenkin's is looking to show how 9 people (Patriarchs, Queens and Emperors) decided what sort of Christian doctrine would win out in the end as the world moved towards our current age. The winning and so called orthodox doctrines adopted by the church (or, at least the western half of t. Jenkins reviews in great detail the history of Christian doctrinal infighting from the first century through the middle-ages, and even currently. Jesus was born into a time where the Roman Empire was the most … In Jesus Wars, highly respected religious historian Philip Jenkins (The Next Christendom) reveals in bloody detail the fifth century battles over Christianity’s biggest paradox: the dual nature of Jesus Christ, as both fully human and fully divine. hummm our current trend towa. 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