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Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again Hardcover – Feb 24 2015

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Image (Feb. 24 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804138966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804138963
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.8 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #284,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Mike Aquilina is the author of more than 20 books, including Angels of God and is co-author of three books with Cardinal Donald Wuerl: The Mass, The Church, and The Feasts. He appears regularly on EWTN. Jim Papandrea is a teacher, author, speaker, and musician. He received his M.Div. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration in youth ministry, and his Ph.D. in the history and theology of the early Christian church from Northwestern University. He has also studied Roman history at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Papandrea is now Associate Professor of Church History at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary (on the campus of Northwestern University) in Evanston, IL.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9fc887b0) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fca63b4) out of 5 stars Early Church and More! March 15 2015
By Matthew Leonard - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Mike Aquilina has been my go-to source for anything and everything Fathers for many years. He knows the early Church like few others. In fact, I'm typing this review from Italy where I just finished touring ancient sites like the catacombs, the Roman Forum, and a host of ancient churches - and I kept thinking to myself that I'd love to have Mike at my side for this trip. Joined by James Papandrea, whom I'd never previously read, but had heard a great deal about, Seven Revolutions offers far more just a history of the early Church. Rather, it's a nuanced view into the heart of Christianity, its impact on the world, and a prescription for a world in need of yet another revolution through Christ. This book will open your eyes.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fca6408) out of 5 stars This book makes some stunning claims... May 15 2015
By Gardener&Reviewer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Seven Revolutions" is going to be one of my favorite books of 2015. It's a history lesson and a course-correcting challenge all at once.

First, here's a list for you. What do these things have in common?
The inherent dignity of every individual. The concept of universal "human rights" that stems from such belief.
Philanthropy. Care for the poor, the sick, the immigrant. Reverence towards the dead.
Freedom of religion and conscience. The basic notion that God is love.

All these concepts may seem disparate at first, but one thing is evident: These ideas permeate Western society.
Everyone I know believes these ideas are all true and good, that they're something to be guarded because we recognize they're precious.
We Americans can't picture our country without these undergirding. Indeed, they're what made us great.

Yet where did these concepts come from? Where they latent in every fine civilization? Did they flower at some point in the evolving human consciousness?
Do they spring from the Enlightenment? How about the French Revolution?
Did George Washington invent them for America? Can we trace these ideas back to a discernible beginning?

Mike Aquilina and James Papandrea are here to make a fascinating argument: It was the Church that first began to burn with these ideas, and it lit the culture on fire soon afterwards, and the world as we know it is warmed by the Church's flames.

Now, that's quite a claim- that human rights and religious freedom came from the Church. Humph!
Some people will spit milk out their nose just reading it.
The repressive, bigoted, backwards, totalitarian Church is to be credited with positive, progressive things? Never!
So, Messers. Papandrea and Aquilina, you'd better have some facts to back this schtuff up.
{This book has over 150 footnotes, so yeah, you can spy on their research if you're interested.}

The authors make their case in ten chapters that are both dense and extremely readable. The topics are Human Dignity- A Revolution of the Person, the Home- a place for loving relationship, Work- Labor being holy, Religion-Worship by choice and conscience, the Community- love for our neighbors, Death, and then The State-Government as Stewards.

In each case, they look at what we know of the Roman world first. After all, the Church was birthed in the Roman world. If the Church was going to have some spectacular effect, we should see it in comparison to Rome.
A small band of people, claiming to follow the Resurrected one, in an empire that was the height of culture and a veritable beehive of competing philosophies.

Historians disagree as to whether life in Rome was a "paradise" or a purgatory. It probably depended on what class you were in- and how you defined pleasure. Although no culture is homogenous, there were mainstream schools of thought and majority attitudes.
The tenets of Christianity came in conflict with many of these attitudes. So what would have been compelling about the Christian vision and the converts' lives? What did the Christians have to say that was relevant in Rome?

A great deal, it turns out.
I suggest that if I've piqued your interest at all that you go get ahold of Seven Revolutions. It will be far more fun for you to argue or agree with the authors than it will be to read more of this review. I thank Image Books for providing me with a complimentary copy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fca6840) out of 5 stars Christianity changed the pre-Christian world and can change the post-Christian world as well. April 4 2015
By Amanda Marie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It is a mix of Church history, the time of the Roman Empire, Church doctrine, and what we can do today as Christians.

Each of the seven revolutions has its own chapter. The revolutions are as follows:
- A Revolution of the Person: The Invention of Human Dignity
- A Revolution in the Home: The New Idea of Family
- A Revolution of Work: How Labor Became Holy
- A Revolution of Religion: God Is Love
- A Revolution of Community: Love Your Neighbor
- A Revolution in Death: The Conquest of the Last Enemy
- A Revolution of the State: Religious Freedom

These were all so interesting. I also loved the ending chapters that talk about where the world is heading today and what we can do.

One of my favorite chapters was the one on human dignity. I really enjoyed the one on human dignity because it speaks of the inherent dignity of every person. In the Roman Empire, women and children were not seen as having value. The book talked of how people in the Roman Empire were only seen for their usefulness. If we look to usefulness or uselessness as a means of determining a person’s value, we start to see people as “things” to be used rather than people. I see this as so important in our world today. We really need to remember that everyone has inherent human dignity.

Another of my favorite chapters was on death. This chapter talked about how there was a different view of death in the pre-Christian world. With Christianity came the respect for the dead body that can be evidenced today in our modern funerals. This chapter also talked about how, besides in Judaism, there wasn’t really the concept of the afterlife before Christianity.

Even if this isn’t typically what you would read, I recommend this to all Christians. It gives a wonderful look back on what has happened in the early centuries of the Church and ties it into what is happening today in our secular world.

I received this book for free from the publisher via Blogging for Books for review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title or the content of this review.

This review first appeared at Orandi et Legendi (
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fca6c00) out of 5 stars Fascinating book. March 19 2015
By Rick Vertango - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating book. A surprising look at the way the Christian church shaped our understanding of human dignity, family, love and other concepts we take for granted today. The descriptions of life in Pre-Christian Roman society were very powerful and startling – particularly in the context of world that has mostly moved into post-Christian era and finds itself slipping back into many of the same terrible dysfunctions. Aquilina and Papandrea have crafted a well-researched book here. I had read Aquilina's "Yours Is the Church" and Papandrea's "Reading the Early Church Fathers" previously. This material is, in a way, a satisfying combination of themes in those two books (though the content here is new), and undeniably relevant to the world we live in today. One of my favorite books I've read this year.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fca6bac) out of 5 stars A needed addition to every library! March 26 2015
By Jordan Haddad - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to the good people at Image Books, I recently had the exciting opportunity of review Mike Aquilina and James Papandrea's Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again. What a joy and gift! I was particularly excited about diving into this read because of its close connection to Catholic social teaching.

Too often we take for granted the ways in which our Western civilization has been christianized. If we are not careful, then we can begin to simply imagine that the many good fruits of the West -- justice, peace, mercy, love, freedom, universal human dignity -- simply germinated by virtue of natural human development and discovery. If you are familiar with the history of Western civilization, or, better yet, if you have read Seven Revolutions, then you know that that particular narrative simply is not correct. The West owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Christianity and the Catholic Church; however, this often gets overlooked and neglected due to either honest ignorance or malicious anti-Christianity. Either way, Aquilina and Papandrea's Seven Revolutions is for you!

In Seven Revolutions Aquilina and Papandrea survey the various “sectors” of the Roman Empire — the person, the home, work, religion, community, death, and the State — to demonstrate how radically they were changed for the better thanks to the Christian worldview and ideals. In good fashion they even include a chapter at the end devoted purely to a “Christian’s To-Do List for the Twenty-First Century” so as to spur on concrete application and action. It is Aquilina and Papandrea’s thesis that, in order to revolutionize the world of the 21st-century, we must learn from and re-appropriate the habits, mentality, and spirit of the early Catholic Church — the same Church of martyrs and the poor that somehow managed to convert the mighty Roman Empire....

To read more of my book review of Seven Revolutions, click the following link to my blog: