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The Origins of Christmas [Paperback]

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Item Number 139793  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   145
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2004
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814629849  
EAN  9780814629840  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
When was Christmas first celebrated? How did December 25 become the official date for Christmas? How did the Bible's "magi from the East" become three kings named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar who rode camels from three different continents to worship the newborn Christ? Why did medieval and Renaissance artists often portray Joseph as an old man? When did the first Christmas music appear? And who was the real St. Nicholas, and how did he become one of the most famous of all Christian saints? These and many other questions are answered in The Origins of Christmas. The story of the origins of Christmas is not well known, but it is a fascinating tale. It begins when Christmas did not exist, and finishes when Christmas had become an integral part of Christian life and Western culture. The Origins of Christmas covers a variety of topics in a concise and accessible style and is suitable for group discussions.

Publishers Description
When was Christmas first celebrated? How did December 25 become the official date for Christmas? How did the Bible's "magi from the East" become three kings named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar who rode camels from three different continents to worship the newborn Christ? Why did medieval and Renaissance artists often portray Joseph as an old man? When did the first Christmas music appear? And who was the real St. Nicholas, and how did he become one of the most famous of al Christian saints? These and many other questions are answered in The Origins of Christmas. The story of the origins of Christmas is not well known, but it is a fascinating tale. It begins when Christmas did not exist, and finishes when Christmas had become an integral part of Christian life and Western culture. The Origins of Christmas covers a variety of topics in a concise and accessible style and is suitable for group discussions. Chapters are "The Birth of Jesus," "Creating the Christmas Story," "Creating Christmas Day and the Christmas Season," "Jesus, Mary, the Magi, and an Obscure Asian Bishop," and "The Popular Acceptance of Christmas. "Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, who chairs the religious studies department at John Carroll University, is also active in the religious education apostolate of the Diocese of Cleveland. The World of the Early Christians (1997), The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition (2002), and Responding to Evil (2003), published by Liturgical Press, are among his nine previous books.

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More About Joseph F. Kelly

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, is professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. His books include "The Feast of Christmas, The Origins of Christmas, The Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church", and others, all published by Liturgical Press.

Joseph F. Kelly currently resides in the state of Ohio. Joseph F. Kelly was born in 1945.

Joseph F. Kelly has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Message of the Fathers of the Church
  2. Scripture


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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Scripture Based Analysis Of Christmas As A Feast Day.  Feb 2, 2005
"The Origins Of Christmas" by Joseph F. Kelly, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 2004.

This book covers exactly what the title says, "The Origins of Christmas". Professor Kelly presents the establishment of Christmas as an important feast day in the Christian Church, with both eastern and western roots. Drawing heavily on the scriptural nativity stories, found in the Gospels of St Mark and St. Luke, the author shows the roots of story of the Three Kings, then Star over Bethlehem, the Flight into Egypt and many more commonly held aspects of Christmas as the present age knows it. Using historical analysis, Dr. Kelly makes it clear that Christ was probably born between 6 B.C,. to 4 B.C., (based upon the records for the death of Herod) and that the ancient Church chose December 25th as the date for celebrating the Birth of Christ as a holy remedy to Roman extravaganzas in that month of the year. Kelly shows how Christmas and Epiphany developed as competing feast days for the Nativity of Christ in Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic branches of Christendom. He also devotes some little time to St. Nicholas and how that saint's feast day metamorphosed into a gift giving day in certain countries (e.g. The Netherlands).

This is not, however, a book that deals with the tinsel: the origins of Christmas trees, or Christmas decorations or Christmas lights. Christmas carols are hardly mentioned, and the more modern aspects of Christmas, such Prince Albert's introduction of Christmas trees to England, are not emphasized in Kelly's book. If you want a bible-based analysis of the origins of Christmas, and how the biblical story grew into today's modern story of Christmas, then this is the book for you.
 
Traces the evolution of Christmas in Christian life  Oct 7, 2004
In The Origins Of Christmas, Joseph F. Kelly (Professor of Religious Studies at John Carroll University) deftly traces the evolution of Christmas in Christian life and western culture. Readers will learn when Christmas was first celebrated as the birth of the Christ; how December 25th became the official date for Christmas; how the three "magi from the East" became the three kings known as Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar riding on camels and coming from three different continents to worship the newborn in a manger; why medieval and Renaissance artists tended to portray Joseph as an old man; when Christmas music first made its appearance; the real St. Nicholas and how he became the most well known of all the Christian saints. The diverse origins of Christmas will come as a fascinating surprise to most who know only the Sunday School version of the Christmas story from their childhoods. The Origins Of Christmas, is very highly recommended and informative reading in which Professor Kelly begins when Christmas did not yet exist, and concludes when Christmas had become an integral part of the world culture in general, and Christian communities in particular.
 

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