The Oxford Handbook of Christmas

ISBN : 9780198831464

Timothy Larsen
640 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Oct 2020
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The Oxford Handbook of Christmas provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary account of all aspects of Christmas across the globe, from the specifically religious to the purely cultural. The contributions are drawn from a distinguished group of international experts from across numerous disciplines, including literary scholars, theologians, historians, biblical scholars, sociologists, anthropologists, art historians, and legal experts. The volume provides authoritative treatments of a range of topics, from the origins of Christmas to the present; decorating trees to eating plum pudding; from the Bible to contemporary worship; from carols to cinema; from the Nativity Story to Santa Claus; from Bethlehem to Japan; from Catholics to Baptists; from secularism to consumerism. Christmas is the biggest celebration on the planet. Every year, a significant percentage of the world's population is draw to this holiday-from Cape Cod to Cape Town, from South America to South Korea, and on and on across the globe. The Christmas season takes up a significant part of the entire year. For many countries, the holiday is a major force in their national economy. Moreover, Christmas is not just a modern holiday, but has been an important feast for most Christians since the fourth century and a dominant event in many cultures and countries for over a millennium. The Oxford Handbook of Christmas provides an invaluable reference point for anyone interested in this global phenomenon.


Part I: History
1 Paul F. Bradshaw: The Dating of Christmas: The Early Church
2 Kati Ihnat: The Middle Ages
3 Katrina Jennie-Lou Wheeler: The Reformation and Early Modern Periods
4 Timothy Larsen: The Nineteenth Century
5 Christopher Ferguson: The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Part II: Theology
6 John Barton: The Old Testament
7 Markus Bockmuehl and Evangeline Kozitza: The New Testament
8 Katherine Sonderegger: Jesus Christ and the Incarnation
9 Katherine G. Schmidt: The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Virgin Birth
Part III: Worshipping Communities
10 Anne McGowan: Roman Catholicism
11 Mary B. Cunningham: Eastern Orthodoxy
12 Kirsi Stjerna: Lutheranism
13 Martyn Percy: Anglicanism
14 Andrew R. Holmes: Reformed and Dissenting Protestants
Part IV: The Nativity Story
15 Holly Taylor Coolman: The Holy Family
16 David Lyle Jeffrey: Gabriel and the Angels
17 Leroy A. Huizenga: Bethlehem and the Census
18 D. H. Williams: The Magi and the Star
19 Jody Vaccaro Lewis: The Inn, the Manger, the Swaddling Clothes, the Shepherds, and the Animals
Part V: Traditions
20 Daniel Gifford: The Winter Solstice and other Celebrations of the Season
21 Adam C. English: St Nicholas to Santa Claus
22 David Bertaina: Trees and Decorations
23 Ellen M. Litwicki: Gifts and Charity
24 Marcia J. Bunge: Children and Childhood
25 Paul Freedman: Food and Drink
Part VI: The Arts
26 Tova Leigh-Choate: Carols and Music to 1900
27 Todd Decker: Carols and Music since 1900
28 Barbara von Barghahn: Paintings
29 Frances Clemson: Plays
30 Emma Mason: Poetry
31 Natalie McKnight: Fiction
32 Mark Connelly: Film and Television
Part VII: Around the World
33 Elizabeth Monier: Bethlehem and the Middle East
34 Nadine Cretin: Catholic Europe
35 Joe Perry: Germany and Scandinavia
36 Francesca Silano: Russia
37 Martin Johnes: The United Kingdom
38 Daniel Vaca: The United States
39 Joel Cabrita: Africa
40 Joseph Tse-Hei Lee: Asia
41 David Thomas Orique, O.P.: Latin America and the Caribbean
Part VIII: The State and Society
42 Richard W. Garnett and Jackson Blais: Public Holidays and the Law
43 John Schmalzbauer: Commercialism and Consumerism
44 David Nash: Secularity
45 Gerry Bowler: Culture Wars
Timothy Larsen: Epilogue: The Many True Meanings of Christmas

About the author: 

Professor Timothy Larsen is McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Wheaton College; an Honorary Fellow, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh; and an Honorary Research Fellow, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and All Souls College, Oxford. His books include Crisis of Doubt: Honest Faith in Nineteenth-Century England (OUP 2006); A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (OUP 2011); The Slain God: Anthropologists and the Christian Faith (OUP 2014); and John Stuart Mill: A Secular Life (OUP 2018).

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