Edited by UMN faculty Calvin Kendall, Oliver Nicholson, William Phillips, and Marguerite Ragnow, this volume brings a comparative approach to what, in recent years, has been a hotly debated topic within and across a number of academic disciplines: conversion to Christianity. These debates register the challenges inherent in attempting to understand a transformation that was at once personal and collective--a matter of inner conviction and outward conformity. The essays in this volume range from the late antique Middle East to medieval Western and Eastern Europe; from early modern Asia to the Americas and islands in the central Pacific.
Collectively, the ten authors encourage consideration of the conversion phenomenon comparatively across time and space. Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Prince of Austurias Professor of History at Tufts University, frames the essays in a broader global perspective in light of the two other major world religions, Islam and Buddhism, in his Prologue, while John M. Headley, Distinguished University Professor, University of North Carolina, considers the various conversion processes and their broader impact within the cultural transformation of the societies involved, foreshadowing "the uncertain extension of the universal jurisdiction of humanity . . . to the peoples of the globe" that is one of the transformative processes of the 21st century.
ISBN: 9780979755903 (hardcover) 2009, 449 pages.
Price: US $95.00