Takeaway: Eastern Christianity is much more complicated than what is usually understood as an Evangelical Protestant. I need more about this period to really understand what is going on.
The next section of the book traces the variety of Eastern manifestations of Christianity. The church reached out into China and India and interacted with Hinduism and Buddhism. And the Eastern portion reached as far east as the isolated Ethiopean Church.
This is a wide ranging section and I have very little background in this portion of Christian history. So it is hard for me to evaluate the writing. Really makes me want to reach out and read more of this area of history.
I also wish MacCullouch spent more time defining terms. This is an area where reading instead of listening would have been better. If you read it is easier to go back and re-read a section or refer back to a section to make sure you really understand before moving on. But if you are listening it is harder to know where to go back to or what portion to re-listen to.
This section also deals with the rise of Islam and how it interacts with Christianity. MacCulloch presents it as much less violent and forceful in its expansion than what many others I have read have presented it. I also found it interesting that in presenting the rise of the Mongolian Empire that he suggests that there are many that thought that the Khans might bring about a unification of the Christian church. I would have never thought that this might have been a real thought, but it is pretty convincing that at least some did.