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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford Paperback Reference) Paperback – August 24, 2006


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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford Paperback Reference) + The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation + Readings in World Christian History
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Paperback Reference
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 Revised edition (August 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019861442X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198614425
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

`Review from previous edition 'opens up the whole of Christian history, now with a wider vision than ever'' Robert Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury

`'an astonishing achievement ... an indispensable, abundant and compulsively readable book'' The Times

`'remains absolutely central in its field and will do so for many years to come.' ' TLS

`'the authoritative standard reference book on the Christian Church' ' Christianity

About the Author


E. A. Livingstone, PhD is the editor of the third edition of The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, on which this concise volume is based. She has been responsible for the organization of the International Conferences on Patristic Studies from 1971 to 1995.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dennis R. Koers on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church is a readable, organized and comprehensive volume of 570 pages. It covers most topics needed for research from Aaron to Zwingli. There is also a list, in chronological order, of popes and antipopes; up to and including John Paul II. I have found the book to be especially useful in researching complicated topics such as the early councils and reformers of the late Middle Ages. Written in the usual high standard of the Oxford series, I have yet to find a topic that I was looking for not covered. Feasts, theologians,Biblical books and lives of the saints are among the five thousand topics covered. If you need to know the difference between "Urbs Beata Hierusalem" and "Urbs Sion Aurea", this is the book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kim Boykin on February 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was a required text for a graduate class I took on the history of Christian theology, and it has been one of my most well-used reference books ever since. I almost always find what I'm looking for in this dictionary, and the entries are clear and helpful, neither too short nor too long.

Although I occasionally covet the un-concise version of this dictionary and may ask Santa for it some Christmas, I wonder if I'd actually use the hefty hardback as much as I use this handy, concise paperback.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Thomas Scarborough on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book has a strong bias towards higher criticism. This need not have detracted from the value of the book. Higher criticism has, after all, been very mugh a part of the Christian Church during its more recent history, and has often enriched it.

In this case, however, it seriously influences the content of the book, and tends to exclude other perspectives. For instance, with regard to the Fall, the book notes that in the past Christians "regarded the Fall of Adam and Eve as a historical event" -- as though the belief were no longer common. With regard to angels, "the whole concept of such supernatural beings has been challenged" -- and demons receive no entry at all. Further, a great deal of the text is devoted to higher criticism issues. With regard to the resurrection, for example, nearly half the text deals with the way in which critics have "questioned its historicity" and the Gospels "disagree over the details".

A major strength of the book is its scope. For example, it has special entries for the Church in virtually all of the major countries of the world: the USA, Angola, Russia, Vietnam, and so on. It is also strong particularly on less common terms in the Church, which are precisely those which one might wish to look up, e.g. the illuminative way, or banns of marriage. However, it falls down on more recent Church history. For instance, it omits the Lausanne Congress, or Gustavo Gutierrez. Other important entries are merely skimmed over, e.g. the Keswick Convention (one sentence), or the Charismatic movement.

In short, this book would seem to be too fixated with issues of veracity, and to reflect too little of the true life of the Church over past millennia. For a scholar to whom issues of higher criticism are important, this may be just the book. Broadly speaking, however, it is a mixed bag.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simply human on December 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are of those that are studying the history, theology, dogmatics, moral and ethics of christianity this books is right for you. It gives brief answers to every question you may raise based in difficult themes. For example, you want to know what is the term High Church, Tractarian, Non-jurors, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Zwinglio, etc...you are going to find enough information to be able to answer any questions that may raise in your studies. Any lay leader, seminarian, deacon, elder, pastors, preachers, etc. need to buy this reference book. It is frustrating to hear odd errors coming from the pulpit. But preachers sometimes do not read enough to be able to define terms very easily and then prefer not to expose the listeners to valuable information that can make the difference.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Ellis on September 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Theology is no longer considered the "queen of the sciences" nor even the most challenging of academic disciplines. Both were asserted during the Middle Ages, and the modern student of the faith will find much truth in both assertions. While suprisingly small, this volume is the best available resource to all aspects of belief and practice; it is an invaluable aid to those beginning study for the first time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GamePlayer on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am currently using this book for a Christian History college class and am finding it a very valuable resource!! This dictionary is full of short explanations of people, places, councils, religions, movements, and terms related to Christianity and Christian history. I appreciate being able to find exactly what I need in the short summary for each entry. This is a great resource I will be keeping for my reference!
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