Philip Jenkins
, The Lost History of Christianity:  The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa and Asia - and How It Died (HarperOne, 2008).

The Lost History of Christianity will change how we understand Christian and world history.  Leading religion scholar Philip Jenkins reveals a vast Christian world to the east of the Roman Empire and how the earliest, most influential churches of the East—those that had the closest link to Jesus and the early church—died.  In this paradigm-shifting book Jenkins recovers a lost history, showing how the center of Christianity for centuries used to be the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, extending as far as China. 

Without this lost history, we can’t understand Islam or the Middle East, especially Iran, Iraq, and Syria.  Complete with maps, statistics, and fascinating stories and characters that no one in the media or the general public has ever heard of, The Lost History of Christianity will immerse the reader in a lost world that was once the heart of Christianity.



“Jenkins has produced an exceptionally fine study of a great swathe of Christian history hugely important in the Christian story but very little known. This thoughtful, elegant and learned survey will remedy the neglect of a subject which students of religion absolutely need to know about. Jenkins describes extremes of suffering, heroism, cruelty and achievement from which more general lessons can be drawn: this is a book both to profit from and to enjoy.”    
— Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford, and author of The Reformation

“Philip Jenkins’ book is a tour de force in historical retrieval and reconstruction, a work of scholarly restoration that strikes an overdue balance in the story of Christianity. Based on the neglected and overlooked record of developments east of the Roman Empire, the book explores significant continuities in Christian history. It is studded with insight, with the story presented in a lively and lucid style.”   
— Lamin Sanneh, Professor of World Christianity and Professor of History, Yale University

“Philip Jenkins always writes well on very interesting topics. This time his topic is more than interesting-it is essential reading for anyone with any interest in the history of Christianity.”   
— Rodney Stark, author of The Rise of Christianity

“Once again Philip Jenkins has expanded and enriched our understanding of Christianity by stretching his venturesome scholarship over time and space. In this highly readable and sobering exploration of how religions - including our own - grow, falter and sometimes die, he adds a unique dimension to present day religious studies in a voice and style that non-specialists can also appreciate.”
   — Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

“Jenkins is one of America’s top religious scholars.”    —Forbes

“. . . persuasively and cogently argued . . . marvelously accessible for the lay reader and replete with fascinating details to help personalize the ambitious sweep of global history Jenkins undertakes. This is an important counterweight to previous histories that have focused almost exclusively on Christianity in the West.”    —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Philip Jenkins’s marvelous new book...tells the largely forgotten story of Nisibis, and thousands of sites like it, which stretch from Morocco to Kenya to India to China, and which were, deep into the second millennium, the heart of the church. While Christians will be particularly concerned with this story, it will be of interest to, and significant for, far more than they." —The Weekly Standard

“In leaner, clearer prose than ever before, Jenkins outlines and analyzes this history, which few present-day Christians have even heard of. This may be the most eye-opening history book of the year.” —Booklist

“Beyond its useful correctives to standard church histories, the book also probes the meaning of Middle Eastern Christianity’s long history. Jenkins shows, for example, that much can be learned about inter-religious strife in the 21st century by heeding the history of Christian communities that lived intermingled among Muslims for centuries . . . [Jenkins’] depiction of the long Christian history of Asia, Mesopotamia, and the greater Middle East is both a much-needed education and a spiritually fruitful provocation.”    —Books & Culture (Favorite Books of 2008)

“The Lost History of Christianity is a fascinating study of the first thousand-plus years of the Church--a Church rooted in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. We have much to learn from the tale of its reach, its particular way of being Christian, and its eventual decomposition ” — (One of the Best Religious Books of 2008)

“Using his skill to discredit murky thinking and propose new understandings where the old no longer serve a good purpose, Jenkins offers yet another jewel in what is becoming a crown of paradigm-shattering studies. [This book] will amply reward your investment of time and attention.” —America

“Jenkins’s well-crafted new volume, filled as one has come to expect from the author with a good number of provocative insights, is not only a welcome addition to the literature on Christianity as a truly global religion, to which he has already made substantial contributions, but also an invitation to retrieve a forgotten chapter of history that has not inconsiderable relevance to current events.” —Religion & Ethics Newsweekly