When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome

4.08 avg rating
( 845 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780156013154: When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome

A thoroughly researched and vivid re-creation of one of the most critical periods in the history of Western religion

 

The life of Jesus, and the subsequent persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, have come to define what many of us know about early Christianity. The fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was forming, however, is a story that is rarely told. Richard E. Rubenstein takes readers to the streets of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where a divisive argument over the divinity of Jesus Christ was underway. Ruled by a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer feared for the survival of their monotheistic faith, but they found themselves in different camps—led by two charismatic men—on the topic of Christian theology. Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, preached that Jesus, though holy, is less than God, while Athanasius, a brilliant and violent bishop, saw any diminution of Jesus' godhead as the work of the devil. Between them stood Alexander, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, in search of a solution that would keep the empire united and the Christian faith alive.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

The Gospel narratives may suggest that Jesus was divine, but they do not insist upon it. Hundreds of years after Jesus' death, the Church councils made Jesus' divinity a central tenet of belief among many of his followers. When Jesus Became God: The Epic Fight over Christ's Divinity in the Last Days of Rome by Richard Rubenstein is a narrative history of Christians' early efforts to define Christianity by convening councils and writing creeds. Rubenstein is most interested in the battle between Arius, Presbyter of Alexandria, and Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. Arius said that Christ did not share God's nature but was the first creature God created. Athanasius said that Christ was fully God. At the Council of Nicea in 325, the Church Fathers came down on Athanasius's side and made Arius's belief a heresy.

Rubenstein's brisk, incisive prose brings the councils' 4th-century Roman setting fully alive, with riots, civil strife, and spectacular public debates. Rubenstein is also personally invested in the meaning of these councils for religious life today: he wrote this book, in part, because he grew up in a mixed Jewish Catholic neighborhood and was bewildered by animosity between the religious groups on his block. Digging back in history, Rubenstein learns that before the Arian controversy, "Jews and Christians could talk to each other and argue among themselves about crucial issues like the divinity of Jesus.... They disagreed strongly about many things, but there was still a closeness between them." But when the controversy was settled, Rubenstein notes, "that closeness faded. To Christians, God became a Trinity and heresy became a crime. Judaism became a form of infidelity. And Jews living in Christian countries learned not to think very much about Jesus and his message." --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Back Cover:

"This book is a great theological adventure finely told. When Jesus Became God takes the contemporary conversation about Jesus of Nazareth beyond the New Testament period. Richard Rubenstein has a vivid historical and theological imagination and understands that theology is often political and works through the muddle and mess of human history."

* Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and author of The Soul's Journey

"An exciting book! Richard Rubenstein has taken the ancient conflict in Christian history between Arius and Athanasius and has given it the brilliance of modern journalistic coverage. In the process he enlightens us about the nature and destructiveness, to say nothing of the roots, of those dark places in our contemporary history where far too often religious convictions are expressed in terms of hate, murder, ethnic cleansing and even warfare."

* The Most Reverend John Shelby Spong, Bishop of Newark and author of Why Christianity Must Change or Die

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Richard E. Rubenstein
Published by Houghton Muffin Hartcourt Trade
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Muffin Hartcourt Trade. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0156013150

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.34
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.69
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Rubenstein, Richard E.
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Quantity Available: 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # V6-9780156013154

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.06
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Richard E Rubenstein
Published by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Harvest.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A thoroughly researched and vivid re-creation of one of the most critical periods in the history of Western religion The life of Jesus, and the subsequent persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, have come to define what many of us know about early Christianity. The fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was forming, however, is a story that is rarely told. Richard E. Rubenstein takes readers to the streets of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where a divisive argument over the divinity of Jesus Christ was underway. Ruled by a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer feared for the survival of their monotheistic faith, but they found themselves in different camps--led by two charismatic men--on the topic of Christian theology. Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, preached that Jesus, though holy, is less than God, while Athanasius, a brilliant and violent bishop, saw any diminution of Jesus godhead as the work of the devil. Between them stood Alexander, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, in search of a solution that would keep the empire united and the Christian faith alive. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780156013154

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.63
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Richard E Rubenstein
Published by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Harvest.. Language: English . Brand New Book. A thoroughly researched and vivid re-creation of one of the most critical periods in the history of Western religion The life of Jesus, and the subsequent persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, have come to define what many of us know about early Christianity. The fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was forming, however, is a story that is rarely told. Richard E. Rubenstein takes readers to the streets of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where a divisive argument over the divinity of Jesus Christ was underway. Ruled by a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer feared for the survival of their monotheistic faith, but they found themselves in different camps--led by two charismatic men--on the topic of Christian theology. Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, preached that Jesus, though holy, is less than God, while Athanasius, a brilliant and violent bishop, saw any diminution of Jesus godhead as the work of the devil. Between them stood Alexander, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, in search of a solution that would keep the empire united and the Christian faith alive. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780156013154

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Richard E Rubenstein
Published by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Harvest.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A thoroughly researched and vivid re-creation of one of the most critical periods in the history of Western religion The life of Jesus, and the subsequent persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, have come to define what many of us know about early Christianity. The fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was forming, however, is a story that is rarely told. Richard E. Rubenstein takes readers to the streets of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where a divisive argument over the divinity of Jesus Christ was underway. Ruled by a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer feared for the survival of their monotheistic faith, but they found themselves in different camps--led by two charismatic men--on the topic of Christian theology. Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, preached that Jesus, though holy, is less than God, while Athanasius, a brilliant and violent bishop, saw any diminution of Jesus godhead as the work of the devil. Between them stood Alexander, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, in search of a solution that would keep the empire united and the Christian faith alive. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780156013154

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Rubenstein, Richard E.
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Quantity Available: 7
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780156013154

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.85
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.06
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Rubenstein, Richard E.
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 817871

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.06
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Rubenstein, Richard E.
Published by Mariner Books (2000)
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Mariner Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0156013150

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.30
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Rubenstein, Richard E.
Published by Mariner Books
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Mariner Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0156013150 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.52. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-S-9780156013154

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.06
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Rubenstein, Richard E.
Published by Mariner Books
ISBN 10: 0156013150 ISBN 13: 9780156013154
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Mariner Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0156013150. Bookseller Inventory # Z0156013150ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.06
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book