May be found here.
The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark. HarperSanFrancisco, 1997; 246 pages.
Once upon a time the relationship between sociology and religion would have yielded a book with much harsher criticisms of the rise of Christianity, that is, if the two disciplines could converge on the same road at all with any sort of congeniality. Rodney Stark has stepped above these intramural debates and has risen to the task of writing a thoroughly engaging, thoughtful and innovative work by melding historically informed research with sociological data to produce this work on the rise of early Christianity. For a scholar to write a book that is a must-read for any student of Theology, Church History, Patristics, Sociology and Religious Studies is no small task!
Overview of Argument
Concerning chapter one, Stark goes through the “arithmetic of growth” to demonstrate in quantitative terms how the early Church actually grew. He shows that a forty percent growth rate per Read the rest of this entry »