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The First Christian Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Church Paperback – June 7, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0631231875 ISBN-10: 0631231870 Edition: 1st

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The First Christian Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Church + The Reformation Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period + The Medieval Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Medieval Period
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (June 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631231870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631231875
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Beyond doubt this is one of the best introductions available to the English reader who is interested in the Theology of the early Church." Mihail Neamtu, King's College, London

Book Description

The First Christian Theologians offers a comprehensive introduction to the theology of the early Church through an accessible and lively examination of the major individual theologians of the time. This is a book about the earliest individual Christian theologians and those who entered into dialogue with them. It is also about the complexity of the process by which a 'Christian theology' came into existence. It begins with the earliest Christian writings, moves through the development of the early Church, examines the rival traditions to Christianity, and explores the work of the key Christian theologians in both the West and the East, ending at the important Council of Chalcedon. Drawing on contributions from an international team of leading academics, and edited by G. R. Evans, this volume is indispensable reading for undergraduate students who need a readable and accessible introduction to the theology and history of the early Christian church.

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
The editor of this volume, G.R. Evans, is a lecturer in history at Cambridge, and author of a number of texts that deal with issues and topics of the same period, as well as other historical periods. For the most part, however, Evans lets the articles from scholars speak for themselves. Her role, apart from the worthwhile introduction, was to select from among the best scholars in Britain, North American and Europe to produce a companion volume to Blackwell's others volumes in this series. Evans did the volume on Medieval Theology in this series (published in the year 2000) prior to this volume on Ancient Theology: The First Christian Theologians.

The book is divided primarily into five primary sections. The first section is about the Bible. John Rogerson looks at the issue of the ealiest Christian writings, both in terms of Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament as well as New Testament. He looks at issues of composition as well as compilation, and looks at the dual question, 'whether the Church regarded books as authoritative because they were declared canonical, or whether they were declared canonical because the Church recognised their authority.' Following this, Frances Young provides an essay on early issues of interpretation, including ideas of Irenaeus, Origen, and later church fathers towad Augustine.

The second section, The Church, deals with the early issues involved in formation of a church. Stuart Hall provides an essay dealing with the very concept of church, starting with the chronicle in Acts of the Apostles, up to the time of Cyprian, Tertullian and popes of the third century who helped solidify ways of acting. Editor G.R.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dave G on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The articles about particular church Fathers were quite good, while the general historical/analytical articles had much to be desired. It takes a very modern, "objective" view at times, not as much faith based. The articles on the particular fathers could have been longer and more in depth, but it seems much of the book was sacrificed to essays on context and culture. Worth a look for anyone who wants a general overview, but not the best one could find due to the hodge-podge of views by the various authors.
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