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There has long been a need for a succinct and up-to-date account of the major doctrines and practices of the early church. This book fulfills that need in clearly tracing the emergence of the distinctive elements of the Christian tradition.
Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church is part of Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources, a series designed to present ancient Christian texts essential to an understanding of Christian theology, ecclesiology, and practice. The books in the series will make the wealth of early Christian thought available to new generations of students of theology and provide a valuable resource for the Church. This volume focuses on how Scripture was interpreted and used for teaching by early Christian scholars and church leaders. Developed in light of recent Patristic scholarship, Ad Fontes volumes will provide a representative sampling of theological contributions from both East and West. The series aims to provide volumes that are relevant for a variety of courses: from introduction to theology to classes on doctrine and the development of Christian thought. The goal of each volume is not to be exhaustive, but rather representative enough to denote for a non-specialist audience the multivalent character of early Christian thought, allowing readers to see how and why early Christian doctrine and practice developed the way it did.
While the diversity of early Christian thought and practice is now generally assumed, and the experiences and beliefs of Christians beyond the works of great theologians increasingly valued, the question of God is perennial and fundamental. These essays, individually modest in scope, seek to address that largest of questions using particular issues and problems, or single thinkers and distinct texts. They include studies of doctrine and theology as traditionally conceived, but also of understandings of God among the early Christians that emerge from study of liturgy, art, and asceticism, and in relation to the social order and to nature itself.
Marriage and Sexuality in Early Christianity is part of Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources, a series designed to present ancient Christian texts essential to an understanding of Christian theology, ecclesiology, and practice. The books in the series make the wealth of early Christian thought available to new generations of students of theology and provide a valuable resource for the church. Developed in light of recent patristic scholarship, the volumes provide a representative sampling of theological contributions from both East and West. The series provides volumes that are relevant for a variety of courses: from introduction to theology to classes on doctrine and the development of Christian thought. The goal of each volume is not to be exhaustive but rather to be representative enough to denote for a nonspecialist audience the multivalent character of early Christian thought, allowing readers to see how and why early Christian doctrine and practice developed the way it did.
Laurie Guy provides an illuminating, broad-brush survey of the early church in its first four centuries. Readers get to witness the emergence of Great Tradition Christianity as themes unfold over time regarding women, persecution and martyrdom, asceticism and monasticism, eucharist and baptism, doctrine and the ecumenical councils.
A paperback edition of this well-known study. Since its first publication in 1967 this book has aroused a lively debate among theologians and practicising clergy. The author had since returned to the discussion (The Remaking of Christian Doctrine, SCM Press 1974) and has stressed the contemporary need to define and develop Christian doctrine. In the earlier work Professor Wiles asks how the early Church fathers' doctrinal affirmations - expressed for example in the Nicene Creed and Chalcedonian Definition - remain valid today when the framework of the fathers' learning and discourse has disappeared. Doctrine was necessary, he argues, to answer objections to Christianity in a largely non-Christian world, to tackle the problem of heresy and to satisfy the desire of Christians to express their faith more deeply. He also considers the sources of doctrinal reasoning - Scripture, the practice of worship and the nature of salvation. These sources are still vital to any development of Christian doctrine today and the author concludes his study with a call for 'the continuation of the same task of interpreting the Church's Scriptures, her worship and her experience of salvation'.
How did the early Christians manage to establish a religion and institution which, despite persecution, flourished and grew? How did their initial experience of being a despised minority in the Roman Empire shape their sense of privileged identity and uniqueness? And how was it that--at least at the outset--the first believers were able to exist alongside the same shared traditions, rituals and beliefs of the Jews, despite the Jewish rejection of Jesus as Messiah? The Christian community was born out of paradox: its faith in a man who was also the "anointed one" (or Christ) of God, and its growth and development often echoed those complex and and contradictory origins. Morwenna Ludlow discusses the fragile context as well as the emerging core beliefs of the early Church (including divine creation, salvation, eschatology, the humanity and divinity of Christ and the inter-relationships of the Trinity) between 50-600 CE. She also examines the process of Christian self-definition in response to groups on the edge of the Church, such as Gnostics, Marcionites, Montanists and Manichaeans, as well as in relation to Judaism. Bringing to vivid life the remarkable history of the early Church, in all its conflict and struggle, the author shows why such a successful faith was able to rise out of such improbable and unpromising beginnings.
Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity is part of Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources, a series designed to present ancient Christian texts essential to an understanding of Christian theology, ecclesiology, and practice. This volume is designed to introduce the reader to the broad range of texts that reflect early Christian thoughts and practices on the topic of wealth and poverty. Developed in light of recent Patristic scholarship, the volumes will provide a representative sampling of theological contributions from both East and West. The series aims to provide volumes that are relevant for a variety of courses: from introduction to theology to classes on doctrine and the development of Christian thought. The goal of each volume is not to be exhaustive, but rather representative enough to denote for a non-specialist audience the multivalent character of early Christian thought, allowing readers to see how and why early Christian doctrine and practice developed the way it did.
Assessing the status of evangelical theology at the turn of the century, a team of 26 scholars, including Alister E. McGrath, Clark Pinnock, Wolfhart Pannenberg and Stanley Grenz, honor Millard J. Erickson with this volume. Edited by David S. Dockery.
Examines early Christian interpretation of the Bible from various perspectives.
This study of the early church is written from a new religious and theological studies perspective.
This magisterial volume is a comprehensive survey of the doctrine and practice of baptism in the first five centuries of Christian history, arranged geographically within chronological periods. Baptism in the Early Church covers the antecedents to Christian baptism and traces the history of Christian doctrine and practice from the New Testament through the writings of the church fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries. The book deals primarily with the literary sources, though it also gives attention to depictions of baptism (primarily of Jesus) in various art forms and to the surviving baptismal fonts. Ferguson s thorough study points to the central importance of baptism in the early church. Many blessings were attributed to baptism, but the two earliest and most consistently mentioned are forgiveness of sins and the reception of the Holy Spirit; faith and repentance were necessary in order to receive these benefits. Jewish immersion rites, the practice of John the Baptist, the meaning of the words used for baptism, the literary descriptions, and the material remains argue that full immersion was the normal practice, and the evidence from art is consistent with this interpretation. Containing nearly everything currently known about the early Christian ritual of baptism, with extensive citations to the primary and secondary literature, Ferguson s Baptism in the Early Church is destined to be a standard reference work.
What was the impact of liturgy on the development of orthodox doctrine in the early Christian church? With renowned liturgical historian Maxwell E. Johnson as a guide, readers of Praying and Believing in Early Christianity will discover the important and sometimes surprising ways that worship helped to shape what was believed, taught, and confessed. In particular, Johnson considers this relationship in terms of soteriology: What is the role of grace in the process of salvation? Trinity: How did early devotion to Christ and the church's baptismal and eucharistic liturgies help shape the developing doctrine of the Trinity? Christ and Mary: What does the devotional and liturgical term theotokos say about them both? ethics: How does the liturgy contribute not only to doctrine but also to convictions about morality? Johnson also explores the ways this relationship worked in the opposite direction: How did doctrinal developments shape liturgical texts in the patristic period? This is an excellent text for beginning students in liturgical studies at the master's level.
Contains abstracts of about one thousand books and major articles dealing with the church from the beginning of the second century roughly to the end of the sixth. ...well done in every way. --CHOICE This is almost certainly the best bibliography of patristic studies ever produced... --THEOLOGICAL BOOK REVIEW

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