This selection of writings from the most important moments in the history of Christianity has become established as a classic reference work, providing insights into 2000 years of Christian theological and political debate.
While retaining the original material selected by Henry Bettenson, Chris Maunder has added a substantial section of more recent writings. These illustrate the Second Vatican Council; the theologies of liberation; Church and State from 'Thatcher's Britain' to Communist Eastern Europe; Black, feminist, and ecological theology; ecumenism; and inter-faith dialogue. The emphasis on moral debate in the contemporary churches is reflected in selections discussing questions about homosexuality, divorce,
AIDS, and in-vitro fertilization, amongst other issues.
This further expanded fourth edition brings the anthology up-to-date with a new section looking at issues facing the twenty-first century churches. This includes extracts exploring the churches' responses to questions of social justice, international politics, trade and debt, environmental change, and technological development. New material also covers the global growth of Christianity, the progress of Christian unity, and mission in multi-faith and postmodern societies.
Some documents have over generations been recognised as key to understanding Christian history; those will be found in this collection, as they have been since long ago Henry Bettenson first conceived of the project. Now they are helpfully enriched with sources which might have astonished Bettenson, but which testify to the extraordinary variety of the communities which call themselves Christian. Diarmaid Macculloch This is a new and improved version of a popular and accessible old classic ... which brings together some of the most significant documents and texts in church history. ... the updated Bettenson and Maunder remains a very useful repository of a broad range of standard texts from across the centuries. Lee Gatiss, Churchman