A People's History of Christianity

The Other Side of the Story

By Diana Butler Bass
(HarperOne, Hardcover, 9780061448706, 368pp.)

Publication Date: March 1, 2009

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the April 2009 Indie Notables
“Diana Butler Bass writes with a historian's authority and a believer's conviction in a beautifully executed book. Her use of the stories of Christian heroes -- saints and monks, and laypersons, too -- adds a human dimension to a vast topic. Readers couldn't ask for a better guide to 2000 years of Christian faith than this refreshing and highly readable book.”
-- Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA


For too long, the history of Christianity has been told as the triumph of orthodox doctrine imposed through power and hierarchy. In A People's History of Christianity, historian and religion expert Diana Butler Bass reveals an alternate history that includes a deep social ethic and far-reaching inclusivity: "the other side of the story" is not a modern phenomenon, but has always been practiced within the church. Butler Bass persuasively argues that corrective—even subversive—beliefs and practices have always been hallmarks of Christianity and are necessary to nourish communities of faith.

In the same spirit as Howard Zinn's groundbreaking work The People's History of the United States, Butler Bass's A People's History of Christianity brings to life the movements, personalities, and spiritual disciplines that have always informed and ignited Christian worship and social activism.

A People's History of Christianity authenticates the vital, emerging Christian movements of our time, providing the historical evidence that celebrates these movements as thoroughly Christian and faithful to the mission and message of Jesus.

About the Author

Diana Butler Bass is a blogger for The Huffington Post and a regular commentator on religion, politics, and culture for such media as USA Today, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR. Her previous books include A People's History of Christianity and Christianity for the Rest of Us. Bass holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and has served on the faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Rhodes College, and is a fellow at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. She speaks regularly at churches, retreats, and workshops across the country and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

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