by John Strickland
The Age of Paradise: Christendom from Pentecost to the First Millennium - Paradise and Utopia: The Rise and Fall of What the West Once Was, Volume 1
“Before there was a West, there was Christendom. This book tells the story of how both came to be.” (from the Introduction)
The Age of Paradise is the first of a projected four-volume history of Christendom, a civilization with a supporting culture that gave rise to what we now call the West. At a time of renewed interest in the future of Western culture, author John Strickland—an Orthodox scholar, professor, and priest—offers a vision rooted in the deep past of the first millennium. At the heart of his story is the early Church’s “culture of paradise,” an experience of the world in which the kingdom of heaven was tangible and familiar. Drawing not only on worship and theology but statecraft and the arts, the author reveals the remarkably affirmative character Western culture once had under the influence of Christianity - in particular, of Eastern Christendom, which served the West not only as a cradle but as a tutor and guardian as well.