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What Has Christianity Ever Done for Us?: How It Shaped the Modern World [Hardcover]

By Jonathan Hill (Author)
Our Price $ 22.10  
Retail Value $ 26.00  
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Item Number 27137  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.96" Width: 7.84" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   1.63 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 2005
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830833285  
EAN  9780830833283  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
What has Christianity ever done for us?

What value is there in seeking to preserve its influence today?

In this book, Jonathan Hill answers these questions with some questions of his own. For instance, why do we seal wine bottles with cork? Where did musical notation come from? How did universities get their start? And why was the world's first fully literate society not in Europe, Asia or North America?

As Hill tells the story of the centuries-long entanglement between Christianity and Western culture, he shows the profound influence that Christianity has had--from what we drink to how we speak, from how we write to how we mark the seasons. Employing a rich, narrative style packed with events and people and illustrated throughout in full color, he describes the place of Christianity both in history and in the present day.

What Has Christianity Ever Done for Us? is an enlightening and often humorous tour of culture and thought, the arts, the landscape, education, society, spirituality and ethics, and social justice. Here is a rich, entertaining and informative read.

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More About Jonathan Hill

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Hill has a first class degree in philosophy and theology, and an M.Phil in theology from Oxford University, England. He has worked as a writer and editor since 1997.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
popular review of positive effects  Jan 17, 2007
Christianity is the largest religion in the world, and perhaps the most globally indigenous, having spread most everywhere on earth. For many people in our post-Christian world that global reach has become synonymous with economic exploitation, cultural imperialism, military domination, and reactionary intolerance. Think of Cortez in Central America, medieval crusaders, slave-traders in the Congo, or witch hunts in Boston. What often goes unnoticed and unspoken, though, is how broadly and deeply Christianity has shaped the modern world for good. Thus Jonathan Hill's book is a refreshing exception. He does not ignore or soft-pedal the wrongs Christians have done, and even enfolds those dark episodes into his narrative, but in this book he highlights the debt we all owe for the "positive heritage of Christianity."

Almost any realm of human endeavor you might contemplate has in some way been shaped for good by Christianity. Reading and writing, art and architecture, education and literacy, music and politics, the rule of law and care for the poor. Examples and connections abound. The incarnation, in which Christians believe that God became a man, implies the radical notion that human history is important. Belief in the imago dei signals that every person bears a sacred identity that cannot be earned or forfeited. The doctrine of creation signals the rational intelligibility of the world upon which scientific inquiry is based. Hill considers all these areas and more, which means that by necessity his work is quite general. A half-page on Milton or Dostoyevsky, for example, informs you only so well. Still, in our age of specialized expertise, I appreciated his attempt at the big picture and the grand sweep. American readers might not warm to Hill's British idiom, and at times his attempts to inject humor into his casual style come off as strained and distracting. Hill mines the Christian heritage from the early church mothers and fathers down through Tolkien, the Irish rock group U2, and black American blues. Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant traditions all get their due. He introduces you to Christian contributions from Africa, South America, Japan, and beyond. This hard back book is handsomely bound and includes nearly 100 gorgeous color plates of icons, architecture, portraiture, and photography.
Numerous cultural benefits of Christianity  Dec 17, 2005
Christianity is the most earthy of religions -- a belief that God became human and lived in human history. If God so honored humanity and the natural world, it has only been natural for serious Christians to do the same.

This book provides many examples of this phenomenon -- Christians influencing the arts, culture, and other natural fields for the glory of God. In the past, the result has benefited both Christianity and the general public, especially in the western world. Modern European nations that have abandoned Christianity see the reverse of this process at work -- those nations are cultural museums, where all of the wholesome art and culture are seen in the rearview mirror. Time to rethink this militant secularism?

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