Issue 28 100 Most Important Events in Church History (Full-Color Reprint)

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313 The Edict of Milan

The agreement shifted Christianity from being an illicit, persecuted sect to being a welcome—and soon dominant—religion of the Roman Empire.

David F. Wright

451 The Council of Chalcedon

If Jesus was truly God, how could he be truly human as well? Leo the Great helped guide a critical council to a clear answer.

Tony Lane

From the Editor: Welcome to this Special Issue

Important information before you begin

Kevin A. Miller

1378 The Great Papal Schism

When two popes, and later three popes, vied for supremacy, the medieval church entered a dramatic, forty-year crisis of authority.

Dr. Francis Oakley is president of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

70 Titus Destroys Jerusalem

When the Roman general sacked the temple, the Jews were forced into a new era—and so were the Christians.

325 The First Council of Nicea

At stake in the church’s first general council was the simplest, yet most profound, question: Who is Jesus Christ?

Bruce L. Shelley

367 Athanasius Defines the New Testament

His letter is the earliest authoritative statement to fix the New Testament as we know it today.

Carsten Peter Thiede

386 Augustine Converts to Christianity

A brilliant, profligate professor of rhetoric became the church’s leading theologian for centuries to come.

405 Jerome Completes the Vulgate

This Latin translation stood as the preeminent Bible text for centuries—and set the standard for future translators.

540 Benedict Writes His Monastic Rule

His flexible, compassionate guidelines for Christian community forever shaped monastic life—and influenced Western society.

Bennett D. Hill

988 Vladimir Adopts Christianity

The pagan prince of Kievan Rus’ embraced a new faith, leading to the Christianization of the Ukrainian, Russian, and Byelorussian peoples.

1054 The East-West Schism

Long-standing differences between Western and Eastern Christians finally caused a definitive break, and Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox still remain separate.

George T. Dennis

1095 Pope Urban II Launches the First Crusade

Waves of pilgrims and soldiers embarked for the Holy Land, beginning an era of exploration, conquest, defeat, and folly.

1272 Thomas Aquinas Concludes His Word on <em>Summa Theologiae.</em>

The massive treatise set forth a theological system so influential it has been declared eternally valid.

1456 Gutenberg Produces the First Printed Bible

Using his revolutionary invention—printing from movable type—he made the Scriptures potentially accessible to every person.

Learn More About...the History of the Church

Some useful and accessible reading.

the Editors

Important Events in Church History: <em>Christian History</em> Timeline

A timeline of important events in (mostly western) church history.

the Editors

Important Events in Church History: A selective chronological listing

A selective chronology of church history and world events, mostly from a western point of view.

the Editors

1517 Luther Posts the 95 Theses

An obscure monk invited debate on a pressing church issue—and touched off a history-shattering reform movement.

Eric W. Gritsch

1521 The Diet of Worms

Was the wayward Luther free to dissent? A German council rendered a judgment.

Eric W. Gritsch

1525 The Anabaptist Movement Begins

Hated by Protestants and Catholics alike, these “radical reformers” wanted to not merely reform the church but restore it.

1534 The Act of Supremacy

Breaking from Rome, the English Parliament declared King Henry VIII “the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England.”

1536 John Calvin Publishes <em>Institutes of the Christian Religion</em>

Either adored or abhorred, the reformer and his teachings live on in his monumental work.

1545 The Council of Trent Begins

Responding to the Reformation, the council charted the Catholic church’s course for the next 400 years.

1611 Publication of the King James Bible

A team of scholars produced an English Bible translation unsurpassed in linguistic beauty and longevity.

1738 John & Charles Wesley Experience Conversions

They were ordained ministers and missionaries. Then their hearts were “strangely warmed,” and their changed lives gave rise to a worldwide movement.

Roger J. Green

1740 The Great Awakening Peaks

A mighty wave of revival washed across North America, forever altering the religious landscape.

Mark A. Noll

1962 The Second Vatican Council

In an epochal council, the Catholic Church undertook its most searching self-examination ever and renewed itself for a modern world.

Joseph A. Komonchak

1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. Leads the March on Washington

A Baptist preacher had a dream that guided one of the most profound social movements of our times.

Wesley A. Roberts

Seventy-Five Other Important Events in Church History

A brief listing of significant dates that also earn a place in the “Christian History 100”

the Editors

Church History in Brief

A capsule overview of the movement Jesus started, seen mostly from a Western perspective.

Bruce L. Shelley
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