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The Spread of Early Christianity: A Valuable Tool

July 4, 2015

In the course of working on my current book project, I’ve come across another useful resource:  Roderic L. Mullen, The Expansion of Christianity:  A Gazetteer of Its First Three Centuries (Leiden: Brill, 2004).  This is a unique resource for tracing the specifics of the expansion of Christianity in the first three centuries.

After a helpful introduction, the main part of the book comprises an area-by-area listing of sites where Christians were in these early centuries, each site also given brief commentary.  Mullen has also provided a rich bibliographical resource of other scholarly publications on which he has drawn.  There are also a number of maps showing where these specific sites are.  The publisher’s online catalogue entry is here.

Published by Brill, it’s pricey (156 Euros), and so will likely be affordable only by adequately resourced and committed libraries (and middle-Eastern oil sheiks).  But it’s a seriously good piece of work and a genuinely valuable resource for scholarly investigation of early Christianity.

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  1. Chris Porter permalink

    Worth noting that it is available as an eBook through ebrary/ProQuest which more libraries are likely to have a subscription to.
    The digitisation is very good, and in my case the quality is better than the two physical copies in nearby libraries.

  2. Christian Publishing House permalink

    The problem I have with the academic publishing world is the prices.

    The Expansion of Christianity: A Gazetteer of its First Three Centuries


    • @CPH: On the positive side, books that are originally published by high-end folks like Brill or Mohr Siebeck are often re-released later by more affordable publishers like Baker or Wipf and Stock. So, if you wait a few years you may be able to pick up a copy for under $50:-)

      • Christian Publishing House permalink

        True, but by the time that takes place, it will be outdated and we will be looking at a second edition from Brill. :-o)

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