WASHINGTON (Oct. 9, 2014)—This fall, from National Geographic and Jean-Pierre Isbouts, renowned historian and best-selling author of “National Geographic Who’s Who in the Bible” and “In the Footsteps of Jesus,” comes THE STORY OF CHRISTIANITY: A Chronicle of Christian Civilization from Ancient Rome to Today (National Geographic Books; ISBN: 978-1-4262-1387-8; on sale Oct. 28, 2014; $40 hardcover), a beautiful family reference that illuminates the complex history of the Christian faith.
Covering more than 2,000 years, from the birth of Jesus to the modern day, Isbouts examines the dynamic interplay of religion, politics, economics and geography as they impacted the development and spread of Christianity. His thorough research weaves a historical narrative that provides context for biblical events without bias and with a deep respect for all traditions.
The first chapter, “The Life of Jesus,” tells the story of Jesus’ birth, childhood and ministry as the starting point of a religious movement that would change the world. The chapter reveals the climate of political unrest pervading the region at the time, ushered in by the ascension of King Herod, who confiscated land and imposed heavy taxes that plunged farmers into debt — setting the stage for the many poor, starving people who would later become Jesus’ first followers. Timelines along the bottom of the pages place biblical events in a more familiar historical context, such as the fire at the Library of Alexandria and Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, while maps translate historical regions into their modern-day equivalents, orienting readers and grounding the distant past in the present day.
Subsequent chapters trace the expansion of Christianity into the East and West, through the Crusades and the Renaissance and ending with the 21st century. Throughout the book are photographs, paintings and images of ancient artifacts that vividly illustrate the far-reaching impact of Christianity on the course of history, while insightful sidebars provide details on such subjects as Gregorian chants and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Isbouts explores topics that continue to fascinate audiences, such as the Knights Templar, and examines the development of the various branches of Christianity that exist today. With its interdenominational appeal, this unique, comprehensive guide is the perfect gift for history buffs and theologians alike.
About the Author
Award-winning writer and film director Jean-Pierre Isbouts is the author of many best-selling books for National Geographic, including “The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas,” “In the Footsteps of Jesus” and “Who’s Who in the Bible.” Isbouts has also written “From Moses to Mohammed” and many television programs that explore the legacy of the Bible, including the Hallmark television mini-series “The Quest for Peace.” He is a professor of culture and media studies at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his family.
About National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books & Home Entertainment creates and distributes books, videos and other print and digital media that inform, engage and entertain diverse audiences about our world. Annually, the group publishes more than 125 new books for adults, families and kids and releases 250+ new DVDs and digital downloads of the Society’s films and TV shows, and these National Geographic titles are available in more than 35 local-language editions. While special photographic and film collections, travel books, nature shows, birding guides and atlases are a core focus of the Society’s products, books and videos dealing with subjects as diverse as animals, the human mind, history, world cultures and the cosmos are also produced. For more information, visit facebook.com/NatGeoBooks and nationalgeographic.com/books.