Fools. Rebels. Ignorant peasants.
That's how the Roman world saw the first Christians. Led by fishermen, tax collectors and renegade Pharisees, the first Christians shunned power and welcomed the poor and uneducated. Roman commentators mocked their upside-down values, but the apostle Paul - himself a Roman citizen, and a Pharisee to boot, affirmed that 'God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.'
Its followers were persecuted and its leaders killed, yet this ragged collection of lowly tradesmen, women, slaves - and a smattering of turncoat high-born Jews - created a movement that changed the world. How did this happen? How did the kingdom of fools conquer the mighty empire that was Rome?
In this fascinating new biography of the early church, Nick Page sets the biblical accounts alongside the latest historical and archaeological research, exploring how the early Christians lived and worshipped - and just why the Romans found this new branch of the Jewish faith so difficult to comprehend.
Kingdom of fools is a fresh, challenging, accessible portrait of a movement so radical, so dangerous, so thrillingly different that it outlasted the empire that tried to destroy it and went on to become the driving force of our cultural development - and claims more followers today than ever before in history.