A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story

Although Diana Butler Bass doesn’t refer to Jaroslav Pelikan’s definition of tradition—“the living faith of the dead”—her People’s History is a reflection of that definition. Writing for moderate-to-progressive Protestants who find little in church history to celebrate, she offers the “other side of the story,” one that differs dramatically from the account of what she calls Big-C Christianity, which is denominated by Constantine, Christendom, Calvin and Christian America. Bass taps into often forgotten and neglected streams of Christian experience. The image of a river, employed in the book’s final section, captures Bass’s intent: the contemporary church is heir to many streams of Christian experience, and like a river it is both fluid and ever changing.


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