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Spanning two thousand years of stirring religious, cultural and political events, this authoritative volume provides the most accessible history of Christianity ever published for the general reader. The impact of Christianity on world civilization is almost incalculable, and in exploring this rich heritage, nineteen leading scholars range from the earliest origins to the present day to examine virtually every aspect of the faith. They discuss the apostle Peter and Roman Emperor Constantine, describe the role of Charlemagne in the expansion of the religion, and assess medieval scholasticism and the influence of Thomas Aquinas. The profound changes that occurred during both the Reformation and the Enlightenment are fully treated in chapters that offer revealing portraits of such key figures as Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Rousseau. The book explores the faith as practiced in Britain and Europe, North and South America, Africa, India, and the Far East--offering a compelling continuous narrative filled with insight into the enormously diverse Christian world. Comprehensive, vividly narrated, and exquisitely produced, this magnificent book captures the richness and vitality of Christian thought and culture throughout the ages.