The Christians as the Romans Saw Them

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Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
5.07 X 0.63 X 7.76 inches | 0.53 pounds
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About the Author

Robert Louis Wilken is William R. Kenan Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia. He is the author of numerous books, including The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God, published by Yale University Press.


"A stimulating book which will deservedly attract a wide readership."--John Creed, Times Higher Education Supplement

"A fascinating . . . account of early Christian thought. . . . Readable and exciting."--Robert McAfee Brown, New York Times Book Review

"Wilken draws on a variety of sources to present 'pagan criticism' of Christianity from the beginning of the early second century to the late fourth century. . . . A fascinating book."--Publishers Weekly

"A unique contribution to the subject in English. It is written with understanding, humanity, and wit and should be useful to students of history and religion at both the graduate and undergraduate levels."--Caroline T. Marshall, History: Review of New Books

"[This book] is the pioneering study in English of Roman impressions of Christians during the first four centuries a.d."--E. Glenn Hinson, Christian Century

"This gracefully written study . . . draws upon well-known sources--both pagan and Christian--to provide the general reader with an illuminating account . . . [of how] Christianity appear[ed] to the Romans before it became the established religion of the empire."--Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor

"This work of Wilken will be a source of much thought and discussion for patristic and theology scholars as well as classical historians. . . . An easy style, good scholarship and a respect for the reader makes this book both enjoyable and informative."--Robert A. Antczak, Classical World

"Indispensable for anyone who wants a richer sense of the world in which the Church first made its way."--Robert Royal, Crisis Magazine

"Robert Wilken has given us the chance to see the emerging Christian faith as viewed by its contemporaries who did not welcome its appearance. . . . Clearly written and cogently presented, the book is a mine of information which any pastor or student of the Christian faith would do well to make the acquaintance of. The book is worth the reading."--Paul J. Achtemeier, Interpretation

"This excellent and informative study adds a new dimension to the history of early Christianity, valuable for the Roman as well as the ecclesiastical historian."--Everett Ferguson, Religious Studies Reviews

"The general reader will be well served by the clear and engaging exposition. . . . Useful as a classroom text."--Robert A. Kaster, Journal of Religion

"Should fascinate any reader with an interest in the history of human thought."--Phoebe-Lou Adams, Atlantic Monthly

"Wilken's account of Julian's assault on Christianity, though relatively brief, is arguably the best available in English. . . . His sympathetic understanding of the main competitors of Christianity, coupled with his attention to the social and cultural environment, his good judgement, and the clarity of his style provide an object lesson to all students of the historical progress of the early Church."--Peter Garnsey