Late Ancient Christianity: Now in Paperback!
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MINNEAPOLIS (January 2, 2007) CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, has chosen two titles from Fortress Press, Christian Origins and Late Ancient Christianity, for inclusion in their Outstanding Academic Titles list for 2006.
This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community. Books are chosen for overall excellence in presentation and scholarship, importance relative to other literature in the field, distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form, originality or uniqueness of treatment, value to undergraduate students, and importance in building undergraduate library collections.
Irving E. Rockwood, editor & publisher of Choice, states, "These outstanding works were selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important often the first treatment of their subject. Comprising just over 9 percent of the titles reviewed by Choice during the past year, and less than 3 percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to Choice during this same period, Outstanding Academic Titles are truly the 'best of the best.'"
—Mark U. Edwards, Jr.
Harvard Divinity School
"Historians are supposed to be staid chroniclers of hardly changing stories. A People's History of Christianity will demonstrate that they need not be confined in these static roles. The concept of this 'people's history' represents a virtual revolution in the writing of Christian history, a change that means something dynamic, something that should draw the attention of many who do not think of themselves as likers of history.
"Here's why: this series of books, issuing from editors in whom I have great confidence and many of whose writers I know and respect, 'turns history upside down' and reveals what times and events were like for Christians—and sometimes their rivals and enemies—on the ground. Professional historians long neglected this 'up close' approach, evidently thinking that the basic folk did not merit attention. Add to that another reason for the failure to take them into account: it is harder to get at the stories and records of their lives.
"Now, thanks to a generation of historians with interests in ordinary (but really extraordinary) Christians in ages past, these people can be observed as seldom before. While they did not leave documents in the forms of formal creeds, confessions, or concordats, and while their names did not mean as much to cleric–chroniclers of old as did those of bishops, abbots, and emperors, we now have techniques to unearth scraps, snippets, letters, diaries, transactions, which, taken together and treated in expert hands, let us find how exciting their lives are, how misguided decisions were to talk about the elite few and neglect the faithful and faithless many.
"These stories may come up from the basement of church history, but news about their existence deserves to be shouted from the housetops."
—Martin E. Marty
University of Chicago Divinity School