Over the Easter holiday I had the opportunity to review Diarmaid MacCulloch’s, A History of Christianity, The First Three Thousand Years. Viewing the series was indeed a magnificent event. Dr. MacCulloch, a Professor of History at Oxford takes the viewer through all of the great events, and sometimes not so great events that have contributed to the modern identity of Christianity.  What I found most striking in the initial narrative of that focused on the first Christians was the remarkable points of ethnic diversity the early Christians possessed as primarily a church of the Eastern Roman Empire. Only the subsequent rise of Rome transformed the religion into what we naturally perceive today as a Western Religion.

Throughout the episodes, small tidbits of history, theology and sociological norms are interwoven into the series to entice the viewer into a deeper comprehension of the small Jewish sect that ultimately became the world’s largest religion.

The collection of six DVDs utilizes exceptional photojournalism while telling the ongoing story of the spread of Christianity. The producers visit the most significant and holiest sites in Catholicism. Of particular interest, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem that shares theological heritages with both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.

The series continues to review all of the great intellectual and theological developments that influenced Christianity’s growth and spread throughout every political and social situation throughout the world. Additionally, the issues of Protestantism and the issues of the Reformation are equally studied with great academic clarity and theological succinctness.

Every Catholic institution of learning should have this series as a source for students in their libraries. The faithful believer should include this series in their personal media collection. It is perhaps the most refreshing attempt to show the true complexities of the development of Christianity throughout the world, while respecting the most sacred aspects of our Catholic faith.

A History of Christianity, The First Three Thousand Years is available through Ambrose Video. Their website is http://ambrosevideo.com . The price is $79.00 for the six DVD set.

Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist writing on Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com   He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the British Broadcasting Company, London and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Catholic Exchange, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal,CatholicMom.com. & Catholic.net Comments are always welcome at hjmn4566@gmail.com.

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