The Conversion of Europe (TEXT ONLY)

HarperCollins Publishers, 1917 - 640 sider

The story of how Europe was converted to Christianity from 300AD until the barbarian Lithuanians finally capitulated at the astonishingly late date of 1386. It is an epic tale from one of the most gifted historians of today.

This remarkable book examines the conversion of Europe to the Christian faith in the period following the collapse of the Roman Empire to approximately 1300 when the hegemony of the Holy Roman Empire was firmly established.

One of the book’s great strengths is the degree to which it shows how little was inevitable about this process, how surrounded by uncertainties. What was the origin of the missionary impulse? Who were the activists who engaged in this work – the toilsome, often unrewarding, sometimes dangerous work of evangelisation, and how did they set about putting over this faith? How did a structure of ecclesiastical government come into being? Above all, at what point can one say that an individual or a society has become Christian? Fletcher’s range, lucidity and mastery of his sources brings the answers to these and many other questions as far within our grasp as they probably ever can be.

Like Alan Bullock and Simon Schama, Fletcher is a historian with the true gift of a storyteller and a wide general readership ahead of him.

Fletcher’s previous book, The Quest for El Cid won both the Wolfson History Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for History. This book is even better – the most impressive achievement so far of this strikingly gifted historian.

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Side 118 - ... prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry storm; but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, into the dark winter from which he had emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed.
Side 107 - ... let holy water be made and sprinkled in the said temples, let altars be erected, and relics placed. For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God ; that the nation, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts, and knowing and adoring the true God, may the more familiarly resort to the places to which they have been accustomed.
Side 126 - I am of opinion, brother, that you were more severe to your unlearned hearers than you ought to have been, and did not at first, conformably to the apostolic rule, give them the milk of more easy doctrine, till being by degrees nourished with the word of God, they should be capable of greater perfection, and be able to practise God's sublimer precepts.
Side 83 - The second set of invasions occurred at the end of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century.
Side 364 - God will have all men to be saved, and come to a knowledge of the Truth.
Side 128 - ... in his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if infidels, to embrace the mystery of the Faith ; or if they were believers to strengthen them in the Faith, and to stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works.
Side 121 - ... the signification of his name, Felix) from long iniquity and infelicity, and bringing it to the faith and works of righteousness, and the gifts of everlasting happiness.
Side 103 - ... to what they prescribed to others, and being always disposed to suffer any adversity, and even to die for that truth which they preached. In short, several believed and were baptized, admiring the simplicity of their innocent life, and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine.
Side 109 - ... that he may first arrive with his company at the place where the synod is to be held; and if at your approach he shall rise up to you, hear him submissively, being assured that he is the servant of Christ; but if he shall despise you, and not rise up to you, whereas you are more in number, let him also be despised by you.
Side 14 - Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

Om forfatteren (1917)

Richard Fletcher is renowned as one of Britain's most engaging and witty historians. His previous books include Moorish Spain and The Quest for El Cid, which won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He teaches history at the University of York.

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