About This Blog

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book: "The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity"

TITLE: The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity
EDITOR: Daniel Patte
PUBLISHER: New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

This 1343 pages compendium of dictionary articles have been meticulously collected from 828 contributors from all over the world. It attempts to be ecumenical, covering all branches of Christianity, and their major interactions with the different cultures, other religions, and traditions. It touches on almost anything one can think of. There are articles on theology, history, culture, tradition, spirituality, and things related to both orthodoxy and orthopraxy. There are also entries that describe concisely how Christianity has been received in the various countries.

My first impression of this book is one of surprise. For example, what has 'Shamanism' got to do with Christianity, and why certain countries are entered in as an article? After a while, I realize the intent of the book is to give an appreciation of how Christianity has grown, influenced, and continued to be an important part of this world. I like the way the contributors painstakingly try to be objective about the way the articles are written. Though it is written as a dictionary for Christianity, it works well both as a academic reference book, as well as a practical resource to learn about various contexts and backgrounds that host the Christian religion. Patte has done a great job. The extended bibliography is worth taking a look.

Ratings: 4 stars of 5.


No comments:

Post a Comment