I have learned a great deal from some of the very erudite posters on this site (thank you).
For many years I've been interested in the history of the development of christianity, not only from its earliest days but through the reformation, etc., and through to the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when denominations, sects, cults took off in all directions like exploding fireworks.
I was aware, in broad terms, of Luther, Calvin and the development of protestantism from which so many denominations and sects (including JWs) arose. I was vaguely aware of the schism (1,000 years ago) between the western (catholic) and eastern (orthodox) churches and was tangentially interested as to why it happened (if the 'east' was the home of christianity, how come the 'west' disagreed with it?). I was quite interested to read, while living in Cyprus, a Greek Orthodox English language bible which had a large section in the back about the schism. It explained (of course) why the orthodox church was right and the catholic church was wrong.
All this stuff is interesting to me as an atheist/agnostic because religion has had such a huge influence in our world and continues to do so.
Well, I was recently given a book and for about the first time I am coming to understand a little better how all this stuff fits into the context of history, and I recommend it to other interested parties.
It is (don't laugh) 'European History For Dummies' - ISBN 978-0-470-97818-4 - by Sean Lang, published by Wiley, England 2011. Well written, easy to read, and best viewed as a 'taster' to spark interest for deeper studies. It's certainly helped my understanding (and I'm not ashamed of the label 'Dummy'!).