The History of Christian Europe is a hardcover book with paper jacket over full color matte finish hard cover; both cover and book itself include the full color cover illustration. The book includes 224 pages with a two page Introduction, Chapters One through Eight, a two page conclusion, Biography and sited works list, Index, and list of Picture Acknowledgments. Written for anyone who desires to understand how Christianity helped shape and define Europe, and eventually, the world, it discusses Christianity's astounding development through history. The variety of artwork includes photographs, sketches, paintings, portraits, watercolors, even engravings are included to provide a true sense of the people, places, and times represented within these pages. Highlighted boxes are scattered throughout the chapters with extra information about key events or concepts. Anglicanism, Revolutionary Russia, Charles Darwin, Erastianism, Christian Art, Liturgy and Music, Sacraments, Christian Boundaries with Islam, The Carolingian Renaissance, The Beginnings of Monastic Life, Rites, Icons, The Nicene Creed, The Origins of the Bible, and more can all be found within informational boxes of extension material. Ideal as a supportive book for a history curriculum, or to further knowledge for those interested in greater details about Christian history, The
History of Christian Europe is vivid in color and informative narrative and is easily read by middle school and high school level students and adults. The 7 ½ x 9 ½ inch size is comfortable for reading and similar in size to many textbooks, although it was not written for any particular schooling environment, as it is intended as informational for any interested reader. By its own admission, the book seeks to answer how the teachings of Jesus were carried throughout the Roman world, eventually defining Europe and driving its civilization to become the Christian Europe that has influenced the world today.
This was a topic I have been interested in and it fit well with our use of the Mystery of History curriculum. The benefit of the many extra pieces of information within the highlighted text boxes, that often included a full page or two of text and graphics, were incredibly informative without being overwhelming. I even utilized some of the highlighted areas as extra reading alongside our history books to extend our curriculum. The Contents page includes only actual chapter titles and we would have loved to have seen listings for the various highlighted information, which would have made using the book as supplemental support much easier. With no specific references to the extension material I had to skim the book repeatedly or notate areas I wanted to review in our school day as I was reading. The five page Index will also assist parent/teachers in finding portions of the text pertinent to particular subject matter. We did like the side located page numbers, it was a nice change for us we have rarely seen in other books. The readings on how the east and west drew apart helped me gain a better understanding of that particular time in history and the frescos presented along with the historical backgrounds provide a glimpse into the times and people. I found some school information interesting, as the classical curriculum began to expand under Charlemagne and include four subjects associated with mathematics; arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. The discussion of the scientific basis of creation included in the Christianity and the European Scientific Revolution chapter provides many names and dates for further research and provides insight into the paths of questioning scholars. The final information in the book concerns recent years and includes information on Bosnia in the 1990s, the trend toward "secularism" in western parts of Europe, and some interesting facts about the general lack of a basic knowledge of Christian theology our family found interesting. I wish a timeline had been included with the major topics of discussion marked, but the lack thereof provides a wonderful opportunity for homeschoolers to make their own timeline, including the many individuals who impacted the life of the Christian faith. The various examples of artwork also provide another opportunity for further study for an art class or as a supplemental text with a full art curriculum.
We really enjoyed The History of Christian Europe and will continue to use it for the purpose of reference material in the coming years. There is a great deal of information within the pages, enough to provide great educational value in this single book. For those with an intense interest in history, much of the information will spark further research and knowledge in many different areas of history. It is amazing as you read The
History of Christian Europe to realize the extent to which Christ impacted the world. The valid need for further impact is also revealed in the pages, which we greatly appreciated, as your student reads about John Wesley and many others who contributed to a greater understanding of the modern mission field. The influence of John Locke with his thoughts that perhaps the head of state should not determine the religion of a country ignited more individuals to question the purpose of society and religion's role within it. God's hand is certainly obvious as we read about the history of Europe and the many ways everything from a single individual to the greatest world wars has been instrumental in the movement of Christianity. Understanding history is an integral part of an education and The
History of Christian Europe will help older children to understand how the growth and expansion of European ideas also carried and molded Christianity throughout the world. As an adult, I was thrilled to come away with a greater understanding of the Christian church and the many people involved in its growth, I also gained better teaching ability in this area of history.