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The Westminster Handbook to Patristic Theology Paperback – May 21, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (May 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664223966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664223960
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Anthony McGuckin is Anne Marie and Bent Emil Nielsen Professor in Late Antique and Byzantine Christian History at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies at Columbia University. A Priest of the Orthodox Church, he was formerly Reader in Patristic and Byzantine Theology at the University of Leeds, England. He is the author of numerous books of historical theology and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Great Britain.

More About the Author

V. Revd. Professor John Anthony McGuckin, of Irish extraction, is a priest of the Orthodox Church in the Patriarchate of Romania's Archdiocese in America. He came to the United States from England in 1997 (where he was a Reader in Patristic and Byzantine Theology at the University of Leeds), assuming the Chair in Early Church History at the renowned Union Theological Seminary in New York. He is currently the Nielsen Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Christian History at Union Theological Seminary; and also the Professor of Byzantine Christianity at Columbia University, New York City. His academic career in theology began when he studied Philosophy at Heythrop College, London from 1970-72, and from there went on to read for a Divinity degree at the University of London, graduating with First Class Honours in 1975. For his doctoral researches at Durham University (1980), he studied the politics and theology of the early Constantinian era, with a thesis on the thought of Lucius Caecilius Lactantius, the Emperor Constantine's pacifist Christian tutor and political advisor. While he was a student at Durham he composed his first book, an English edition of the Theological Chapters of St. Symeon the New Theologian, the medieval Byzantine poet and mystic. Since then he has published more than twenty books on religious and historical themes, becoming internationally recognized as a leading interpreter of the Early Christian and Eastern Orthodox traditions. He has taught in many Universities both in America and in Europe, as Visiting Distinguished Professor or as Visiting Scholar; including Kiev, Sibiu, Bucharest, Oslo, Iasi, Cambridge, Belfast, Oxford, Yale, Sydney and Moscow. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1986, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1996. He was selected as the prestigious Luce Fellow in Early Christianity in 2006. He was awarded the Order of St. Stephen the Great, the Cross of Moldavia and Bukovina, by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 2008; and was awarded the jewelled cross by Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America in 2012, on the occasion of his receipt of the Doctorate in Divinity Honoris Causa at St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary. He received the DLitt Honoris Causa from Lucian Blagea University, Sibiu in 2014.

Among his publications are: The Transfiguration of Christ in Scripture and Tradition (1986); St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy (1994); At the Lighting of the Lamps: Hymns from the Ancient Church (1995, and repr. 1997); St. Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography (2000) (Nominated for the 2002 Pollock Biography Prize); Standing in God's Holy Fire: The Spiritual Tradition of Byzantium (Orbis, 2001); The Book of Mystical Chapters (Shambhala, 2002), The Westminster Handbook to Origen of Alexandria (WJK, 2004) and The Westminster Handbook To Patristic Theology ( 2004). His large-scale study of Eastern Christianity, The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Theology, and Spiritual Culture appeared from Blackwell-Wiley in the summer of 2007. At recent work is the largest-ever English Language Encyclopedia of the Orthodox Church which he edited, appeared from Blackwell-Wiley in Winter 2010. Hs latest project is a large scale study of the manner in which Christian Byzantium adopted and significantly adapted the sources of Roman Civil Law, appearing from SVS Press, New York in 2011. In addition to his books he has published over 100 research articles, in scholarly journals, ranging in subject matter from New Testament Exegesis to Byzantine Iconography; mainly centred on the thought of Origen of Alexandria, and the later Greek Christian theologians. He is the Director of the Sophis Institute, based in New York, an international research center dedicated to Eastern Christian thought and culture. Under his direction it has issued 8 volumes of studies, as listed on its website: www.sophiainstitutenyc.org

Professor McGuckin has appeared many times on American, British, and Italian Television programmes, as well as on Radio in Europe, America, and Canada; commenting on religious issues. In 2011 his film, co-authored with producer Norris Chumley was released on cable TV and DVD entitled: "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer." In 1994, his first collection of poetry, Byzantium and Other Poems, was published; and a second retrospective collection has recently appeared entitled: Selected Poems. Black Gate Press. (available www.blurb.com). As well as teaching graduate level courses in New York, Fr. John is also the Rector of the Eastern Orthodox chaplaincy of St. Gregory the Theologian, serving the liturgical needs of English-speaking Orthodox Christian students in Manhattan. (see www.sgtt.org)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John E. Halborg on May 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is in realiy a series of small articles about various patristic subjects. It attempts to cover the whole period in a rather limited number of pages. It is also written for the general reader and so is of less help to the patristic specialist. Here the references after each article are of help. I could have wished that each of the regional Church Councils would have been dealt with separately. Anything by McGuckin, however, is going to be good.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Scotty Ballantine on December 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Professor McGuckin is the world's foremost authority on Patristics. He has gathered a wonderful collection of scholarly description and commentary. It is both a reference, and contemporary analysis. This book is indespensable.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Olivier Comte on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Professor MCGUCKIN views rightly that book as an introduction, to a fundamental and fascinating subject.
He is not to be faulted: he has the talent and the knowledge to write thousands of pages.
But the reader risks the disappointment of too little information, "rester sur sa faim", as we say in France, still being hungry for knowledge. It's not a bad thing but it is a handbook.
Professor MCGUCKIN's great merit is to write about theology, when too many authors (in France, for instance) pretend to stay on an history path.
I won't discuss in detail what I think were the lost oportunities of Christianity, or the triumph of heresies.

As another starter, I would propose ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY, edited by EVERETT FERGUSON, St James Press 1990,
who stops wisely, I think at the beginnng of the 7th century.
The 9th century is more a reference to the story of the Church than to Christianity.
The two are not the same, sorry.
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