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Comprising nearly one third of the world’s population–more than two billion followers–Christianity is distinctive among major faiths in that it derives both its character and its authority from the divinity of its central figure, Jesus Christ. Examining this facet of Christianity from historical and sociological viewpoints, Marty lays bare the roots of this faith, in turn chronicling its success throughout the world.
Writing with great style, and providing impeccable interpretations of historical, canonical, and liturgical documents, Marty gives readers of all faiths and levels of familiarity with Christian practices and history a highly useful and supremely accessible primer. He depicts the life of Christ and his teachings and explains how the apostles set out to spread the Gospel. With a special emphasis on global Christianity, he shows how the religion emerged from its ancestral homelands in Africa, the Levant, and Asia Minor, was imported to Europe, and then spread from there to the rest of the world, most often via trade and conquest. While giving a broad overview, Marty also focuses on specific issues, such as how Christianity struggles with the polar tensions inherent to many of the faith’s denominations, and how it attempts to reconcile some of its stances on armed conflict, justice, and dominion with the teachings of Christ.
The Christian World is a chronicle of one of the great belief systems and its many followers. It’s a magnificent story of emperors and kings, war and geography, theology and politics, saints and sinners, and the earthly battle to save souls. Above all, it’s a remarkable testament to the teachings of Christ and how his message spreads around the globe to touch human experience everywhere.
Edward Rothstein, New York Times cultural critic, contends that every utopia is really a dystopia--a disaster in the making--one that overlooks the nature of humanity and the impossibilities of paradise. He traces the ideal in politics and technology and suggests that only in art--and especially in music--does the desire for utopia find satisfaction. Martin Marty examines several models of utopia--from Thomas More's to a 1960s experimental city that he helped to plan--to show that, even though utopias can never be realized, we should not be too quick to condemn them. They can express dimensions of the human spirit that might otherwise be stifled and can plant ideas that may germinate in more realistic and practical soil. And Herbert Muschamp, the New York Times architectural critic, looks at Utopianism as exemplified in two different ways: the Buddhist tradition and the work of visionary Viennese architect Adolph Loos.
Utopian thinking embodies humanity's noblest impulses, yet it can lead to horrors such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Regime. In Visions of Utopia, these leading thinkers offer an intriguing look at the paradoxes of paradise.
Martin Marty answers the question: Why is the Reformation relevant today?
Rather than a historical narrative of Reformation events, he explains in this accessible book the issues that led to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses, their implications for the Church and world . . . and most importantly, how this impacts us devotionally as Christians of any denomination. As one of the world’s preeminent Luther scholars, Martin Marty also explores the concept of repentance as a central theme of the Theses. In a foreword, James Martin, SJ, offers context and a shared vision.
This year began with the joint ecumenical commemoration in Lund, Sweden, on October 31, 2016, attended by Pope Francis and members of the Lutheran World Federation and other Christian churches. Martin Marty explains how this event, and indeed all ecumenical dialogue that has happened over the past few hundred years and will happen in this coming year, represents a change of heart.
Includes the 95 Theses of Martin Luther
"Martin Marty is the most widely respected historian of Christianity in the United States today. In this little book he with clarity, compassion, and a good dose of common sense shows how Luther's story is meaningful today." —Rev. John O'Malley, S.J., University Professor, Georgetown University
"Martin Marty's attention to October 31, 1517, the day that Martin Luther promulgated his 95 Theses, provides valuable insights for the past, the present, and the future--why Luther's articulation of"repentance" meant so much then, why his commitment to "justification" has now built a bridge for Catholics and Lutherans to work with each other, and why this great event of 500 years ago might herald a hopeful future for Christian believers and all others. There is an awful lot packed readably into this one small book."
—Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
"I would not dream of preparing my mind and heart for the celebration of Luther's role in the Reformation without finding out what Martin Marty has to say on the subject. And he says it here in this wonderful little book. The gifted historian that he is, Marty gives us much solid information. But he also writes eloquently about how best to prepare our souls for the kind of commemoration that also includes some prayers of repentance." —Richard Mouw
"This pithy book offers valuable insight on how Luther's 95 theses have had a profound influence on he ecumenical movement, and can help Christians today understand what it means to be a member of a truly 'catholic' church." —Kathleen Norris
In this second edition, revised and expanded, Marty has added an entirely new section entitled "Postscript and Prescript" in which he discusses the recent past and prospects. Fresh insights and revisions based on the most recent contemporary developments keep this volume abreast of the times, making it an up-to-date survey of the history of Christianity.
For fascination, influence, inspiration, and controversy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison is unmatched by any other book of Christian reflection written in the twentieth century. A Lutheran pastor and theologian, Bonhoeffer spent two years in Nazi prisons before being executed at age thirty-nine, just a month before the German surrender, for his role in the plot to kill Hitler. The posthumous Letters and Papers from Prison has had a tremendous impact on both Christian and secular thought since it was first published in 1951, and has helped establish Bonhoeffer's reputation as one of the most important Protestant thinkers of the twentieth century. In this, the first history of the book's remarkable global career, National Book Award-winning author Martin Marty tells how and why Letters and Papers from Prison has been read and used in such dramatically different ways, from the cold war to today.
In his late letters, Bonhoeffer raised tantalizing questions about the role of Christianity and the church in an increasingly secular world. Marty tells the story of how, in the 1960s and the following decades, these provocative ideas stirred a wide range of thinkers and activists, including civil rights and antiapartheid campaigners, "death-of-God" theologians, and East German Marxists.
In the process of tracing the eventful and contested history of Bonhoeffer's book, Marty provides a compelling new perspective on religious and secular life in the postwar era.
In Building Cultures of Trust, Martin Marty proposes ways of improving the conditions for trust at what might be called the “grass roots” level. He suggests that it makes a difference if citizens put energy into inventing, developing, and encouraging “cultures of trust” in all areas of life ― families, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and more. Marty believes that such efforts at trust-building will do more than trickle up to larger areas of society; it will become a slow spreading of habits of honesty, inspiring trust on a culture-changing scale.
Far from naïve, Marty realizes that the reality of human nature tends towards trust-breaking, not trust-building. All the more reason, he argues, to develop strategies to bring about improvements, one small step at a time.
- Martin E. Marty is a renowned commentator on religious matters, the author of over 50 books, winner of the National Book Award, and the recipient of 74 honorary doctorates
- Demonstrates that citizens, religions and identities can survive in radically pluralist settings
- Accessibly written, it tackles people’s fears of religious pluralism
- Argues that those involved in collisions of faith need to risk hospitality towards one another, as opposed to the conventional plea for tolerance
- Pays particular attention to the conflicts that affect or occur within those nations whose politics can be called republican, open, democratic, liberal, or free – particularly the UK, the US, and Western Europe.
Drawing on literature as new as contemporary poetry and as old as the Bible, The Mystery of the Child encourages the thoughtful enjoyment of children instead of the imposition of adult will and control. Indeed, Marty treats the impulse to control as a problem and highlights qualities associated with children -- responsiveness, receptivity, openness to wonder -- that can become sources of renewal for adults.
The Mystery of the Child represents a new tack for Martin Marty -- universally respected as a historian, theologian, and interpreter of religion and culture -- but displays the same incisive, erudite quality marking the fifty-plus books and thousands of articles that he has previously written. Marty's broad, thoughtful perspective will inspire readers to think afresh about what it means to be a child -- and to be a caregiver.
This book is sure to claim a wide readership -- parents, grandparents, schoolteachers, theologians, historians -- engaging anyone wanting to explore more fully the profound realm of the child.
Baptism, says Marty, is at the heart ofthe everyday, life-long spiritual journey as he explores such questions as:
How did early Christians understand and practice baptism?
What difference does baptism make in our daily life?
How does baptism manifest itself in our relationships, our choices, our faith?
With great insight and wisdom Marty brings us both the history of baptism and a useful guide to its application for everyday life. The book includes questions for reflection and discussion.