This “fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West used to be won—for Jesus” (Newsweek) is now to be had in paperback. Stark’s provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity’s astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more safe way of living.
“Compelling reading” (Library Journal) that may be sure to “generate spirited argument” (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity’s remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. “Anyone who has confused over Christianity’s rise to dominance. . . should read it.” says Yale University’s Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into recent religion’s appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged slightly than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and in the end “that Christianity used to be a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life” (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).