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A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness

Narrated by: Mark Vernon
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

Christianity is in crisis in the West. The Inkling friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, analysed why. He developed an account of our spiritual predicament that is radical and illuminating. 

Barfield realized that the human experience of life shifts fundamentally over periods of cultural time. Our perception of nature, the cosmos, and the divine changes dramatically across history.

Mark Vernon uses this startling insight to tell the inner story of 3000 years of Christianity, beginning from the earliest biblical times. Drawing, too, on the latest scholarship and spiritual questions of our day, he presents a gripping account of how Christianity constellated a new perception of what it is to be human. For 1500 years, this sense of things informed many lives, though it fell into crisis with the Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment.

But the story does not stop there. Barfield realised that there is meaning in the disenchantment and alienation experienced by many people today. It is part of a process that is remaking our sense of participation in the life of nature, the cosmos, and the divine. It's a new stage in the evolution of human consciousness.

©2019 Mark Vernon (P)2019 Mark Vernon

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  • Mark
  • Enfield, United Kingdom
  • 10-10-19

deep stuff

I must admit I was given this book as a gift. I have a theology degree and a history of once being a priest, like the author. I found it fascinating as it covered so much about biblical exegesis that I had never touched on within my training.
The whole idea of original participation really made me think and helped me understand how ancient faiths were sustained and how often they still are. A desire to sink yourself into an all immersing belief system is still alive...think football matches, extinction rebellion, Daesh. Humans sometimes desire a solid and all consuming system to devour them and make decisions for them.....many do not. I am one of the latter. I think this book is not for the faint hearted, it needs a certain understanding of the Christian faith to get the most out of it. I also realised that as a man of no faith belief in a transcendent deity that whilst I understood the concept and the excellent scholarship I was not moved towards belief again, it just confirmed by absence of religious belief. However I really enjoyed the academic journey. It reminded me to become more aware of the faith of others, rather than ignoring it.

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Christianity in a new light

Turned my understanding of Christianity on its head. Fascinating and well read by the author.

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Interesting perspective

I recieved a review copy of this book which is interesting and well narrated. The author presents an interesting idea, but a lot of the assertions do not feel well supported.