Oxford Handbook of Christmas
This item is available to order.
Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 656
Width: 18.1 cm
Height: 25.4 cm
The Oxford Handbook of Christmas provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary account of all aspects of Christmas across the globe, from the specifically religious to the purely cultural. The contributions are drawn from a distinguished group of international experts from across numerous disciplines, including literary scholars, theologians, historians, biblical scholars, sociologists, anthropologists, art historians, and legal experts. The volume provides authoritative treatments of a range of topics, from the origins of Christmas to the present; decorating trees to eating plum pudding; from the Bible to contemporary worship; from carols to cinema; from the Nativity Story to Santa Claus; from Bethlehem to Japan; from Catholics to Baptists; from secularism to consumerism. Christmas is the biggest celebration on the planet. Every year, a significant percentage of the world's population is draw to this holiday--from Cape Cod to Cape Town, from South America to South Korea, and on and on across the globe. The Christmas season takes up a significant part of the entire year. For many countries, the holiday is a major force in their national economy. Moreover, Christmas is not just a modern holiday, but has been an important feast for most Christians since the fourth century and a dominant event in many cultures and countries for over a millennium. The Oxford Handbook of Christmas provides an invaluable reference point for anyone interested in this global phenomenon.
The Handbook is scrupulous in covering the views of all the main Christian traditions and perspectives, and Orthodox perspectives receive admirably balanced coverage throughout the work. There are a couple of curious examples in which traditions are treated slightly less thoroughly than might seem warranted. * Philip Jenkins, Fides et Historia * So many are the impacts of Christmas, and so diverse, that we can scarcely imagine a single book that could do the topic justice. We must then laud the sheer ambition of Oxford University Press in proposing anything like The Oxford Handbook of Christmas, and the raw nerve of Timothy Larsen in undertaking the editorial guidance. The resulting book is a triumph. * Philip Jenkins, Baylor University, Fides et Historia * Larsen has edited a volume that, with all its scholarly orientation and high quality, also offers inspiring reading for long evenings in winter, Advent and the Christmas days and provides fresh angles for celebrating Christmas, be it in a Christian congregation, at home or in wider society. * C. Stenschke, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses * Everyone who loves Christmas will want to have this work of reference on their bookshelf. * Salvador Ryan, St Patrick's College, Maynooth * The Oxford Handbook of Christmas is a perfect treasure trove. * Chris Deacy, Theology * [Timothy Larsen's] book, a highly readable collection of 45 essays by well-informed scholars, is a fascinating box of focusing lenses on Christmas-its history, theology, iconography, traditions, and, yes, its controversies, including those of the present moment. * Book Review Editor, Wall Street Journal * [T]his vast collection, edited by Timothy Larsen -an expert in Victorian religious life-offers stimulating essays on what might be called Christmasness; thus it will be ever timely. * Alexandra Mullen, Wall Street Journal * This beautiful, comprehensive handbook thoroughly covers the religious and cultural significance of the Christian festival of Christmas. Larsen (Christian thought, Wheaton College, Illinois) assembled an international team of contributors, and he divides their 45 essays into eight topical parts. "History" covers the history of Christmas in Christianity from the beginning to the present; "Theology" and "Worshipping Communities" deal with, respectively, the biblical and theological aspects of Christmas and how the holiday is observed within the various Christian communities; and "The Nativity Story" examines different aspects of the traditional Christmas narrative. ... Though the beauty of the book and its illustrations could lead one to think otherwise, this is a serious work of scholarship, as evidenced by the extensive bibliographies at the end of each essay. * M. A. Granquist, CHOICE *