Monday, October 13, 2008

A History of Christianity in Asia, Volume II

by Samuel Moffett

Finally! I've been "reading" this book since forever. It shouldn't have taken that long, but it was an easy book to put down. This one is the second part of Dr. Moffett's historical overview of Christianity in Asia. It picks up in the year 1500, where Volume I left off, and covers four centuries (more or less) of the church's activity. Professor Moffett cycles around the continent, covering a block of time in each region (with the exception of "Western" nations like Russia and the middle east) and then repeating the process for subsequent eras. That's what made it easy to put down. A chapter on, say, Japan in the 17th Century, wouldn't necessarily lead me to jump into the next chapter covering Korea. The flow of the story was broken. Of course, if I had been really fascinated by the happenings in Japan, I could have easily skipped ahead to the next Japanese chapter and continued the tale. Maybe I'll do that the next time I read the book.

Yes, I will be keeping the book. It's a great resource, overflowing with information. I didn't enjoy Volume II as much as I did Volume I, but I don't know if that's necessarily a failing of Professor Moffett. Volume I covered times and places with which I was totally unfamiliar, hence I found the book fascinating. Volume II, in contrast, had a flavor that was less exotic. From the sixteenth century onward, the Christian churches in Asia were interacting with Europeans. The cultural and ecclesiastical conflicts were all too familiar. But don't let that prevent you from picking this up and giving it a read.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link

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