Jesus in History, Legend, Scripture, and Tradition
A World Encyclopedia [2 volumes]
by Leslie Houlden, General Editor; Antone Minard, Editor
June 2015, 695pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-803-0
$218, £168, 190€, A299
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-804-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Our depiction of Jesus owes a great deal to depictions of Roman gods.

This multifaceted work contextualizes Jesus in religion and culture by bringing together articles on folklore, history, literature, philosophy, popular culture, and theology.

Many books have been written about Jesus, but this two-volume work takes a different approach than most. What sets it apart is that it emphasizes Jesus’ lasting impact on world history and his legacy in the imagination over 2,000 years. Written as an introduction, the encyclopedia is equally suitable for Christians who wish to better understand the history and philosophy of their religion and for non-Christians who wish to grasp Christianity in its historical and social contexts.

Alphabetically arranged entries cover representations of Jesus in the bible and the writings of key theologians, examining the essentials of philosophical and religious views across history. The set also includes hundreds of entries that reflect on the role Jesus has played in popular culture and contemporary vernacular religion—perspectives that are not usually placed alongside theology. Through the encyclopedia, students will see how artists, writers, philosophers, church figures, and others have imagined Jesus and been influenced by their perceptions of him. At the same time, primary documents will encourage students to compare and contrast ideas and evaluate arguments that have arisen over 20 centuries.


  • Offers hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries that detail the presence of Jesus in world civilization and creative works over the last 2,000 years, showing how religion informs world history and culture
  • Includes some 40 primary documents to provide firsthand accounts of the influence of Jesus on world history and culture
  • Presents an extensive selection of images to help students visualize key topics
  • Supports the Common Core State Standards by promoting critical thinking skills
  • Supports National Center for History in Schools (NCHS) content standards for world history, particularly those related to the origins and influence of Christianity: Era 3, Standard 3B; Era 4, Standard 4A; Era 5, Standard 2C; Era 6, Standard 2B
Leslie Houlden is an Anglican priest and a retired professor of the University of London.

Antone Minard, PhD, is lecturer in the Department of Humanities at Simon Fraser University and in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia. He holds a doctorate in folklore and mythology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Minard's previous work includes ABC-CLIO's The Celts: History, Life, and Culture.


"In retaining much of the original content, the revised edition stands on a firm foundation. The new content may broaden the work’s appeal. Recommended for academic and large public libraries."—Booklist, November 10, 2015

"The quality of the content is good, above all for use in an academic (college library, early years of university) setting. . . . As a desk reference work it would be a useful addition to the working theologian or priest/minister engaged in church and community work."—Reference Reviews, July 18, 2016

"Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates and general readers."—Choice, February 3, 2016
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