Making the Church of the East

Christianity spread in the Persian Empire during the second and third centuries, when it became a major force, especially in western regions. Looking today at some of those early centers is multiply depressing, as they are today in the process of witnessing that ancient tradition being uprooted. From the fifth century through the fourteenth, the [Read More...]

Importing Christianity

1864_Johnson_Map_of_the_Roman_Empire_-_Geographicus_-_RomanEmpire-johnson-1864

In the third century, Christianity spread into the Persian Empire, where it  became a powerful presence. The means by which this auspicious event occurred are startling and even humbling for anyone who thinks in terms of deliberately planned missionary efforts. At least at first, many, perhaps most, of the Christians who found themselves under Persian [Read More...]

Christians in Babylon

In the early Christian era, Mesopotamia/Iraq was a thriving center of rabbinic Judaism, and throughout the first millennium it was the intellectual capital of that faith. Given the Jewish background, naturally we find very early Christian settlements in Iraq. Within the Persian empire, the greatest seat of church power was of course at the capital [Read More...]

FAITH ON THE FRONTIER

Dioecesis_Orientis_400_AD

Some day, I would love to write a history on religion on the frontiers, and I don’t mean the frontiers of faith or rational inquiry. Governments throughout history have disliked regions that are difficult to control. They strongly prefer fertile lowlands over pastoral uplands or mountain regions. They dislike sprawling cities, especially cosmopolitan seaports. They [Read More...]


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