Great World Religions: Christianity

August 19, 2016 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Great World Religions: ChristianityGreat World Religions: Christianity Series: Great World Religions
Also in this series: Great World Religions: Judaism

As the world's largest religion, with more than two billion members, Christianity is "one of religion's great success stories," notes Professor Luke Timothy Johnson, himself a former Benedictine monk. But Christianity is more than large and popular—it is extremely complex and often highly contradictory.

After beginning with a clear definition of the term "great world religion", Prof. Johnson presents a basic introduction to Christianity's fundamental beliefs, its history and practice through the ages, and its inherent paradoxes.

Great World Religions: Christianity is a lecture series from The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company.)


Luke Timothy Johnson offers an excellent introduction to Christianity for Christians and non-Christians alike. He explores Christianity as a world religion, its early history, its basic beliefs and moral teachings, its splintering into three major divisions (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant), and its relationships to culture and politics. Prof. Johnson is an excellent lecturer: clear, logical, and well-spoken.

There are 12 half-hour lectures in the course. (See the titles below.) I highly recommend Great World Religions: Christianity to anyone who wants to know something about Christianity’s background and basic beliefs as well as how the faith has evolved over the last two millenia. However, if you’re looking for a more in-depth history or exploration of Scripture and beliefs, you should check out some of the other Great Courses offerings.



Christianity among World Religions
Birth and Expansion
Second Century and Self-Definition
The Christian Story
What Christians Believe
The Church and Sacraments
Moral Teaching
The Radical Edge
Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant
Christianity and Politics
Christianity and Culture
Tensions and Possibilities




Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • The Backlist Reader (TBR) Challenge 2016
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