In his latest work, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity, Robert Louis Wilken has invited the reader to a delightful journey that spans the church's first millenium. Now professor emeritus of History of Christianity at the University of Virginia, Wilken pays forward the fruits of his career in early Christian studies and proves to be a trusted guide through his profound handle on the narrative of the period. Similar to his manner in The Spirit of Early Christian Thought, he frames the work around themes and people and, in the words of one reviewer, we "meet" many of they key personalities in the story of Christianity while getting a sense of the social, theological, and political issues.
The following were some highlights:
My main critique is that, despite that fact that this work is the fruit of a lifetime of study, the reader does not benefit from that research by way of footnotes or endnotes. Though Wilken has indicated that this is deliberate and that the work should not be considered a monograph, some basic documentation would have been a real plus.
Despite this, the book does include a helpful set of maps, a bibliography of key primary and secondary sources, and a chronology that will aid rtainly help the reader grasp the overall narrative.
In short, in this work, Prof. Wilken has provided a great resource to students of history and to the church as a whole.