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An Excellent Overview for the Serious Student,
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This review is from: A Concise History of the Early Church (Hardcover)
This book offers an overview of Early Christianity from the apostolic times to the fourth ecumenical Council (Chalcedon, 451). It does not have a literary, easy-to-read style, as some other woorks (Paul Johnson and Henry Chadwick came to mind),I admit, but its text is deep enough for an introduction. The first divisions, heresies, schisms and the imperial functions the Church progressively assumed are described in a concise but very clear way.
Nevertheless, the reader must have in mind that this is an academic work, not a book for the general reader. It is not heavy, full of references (on the contrary, the text is very clear, and most the references are only to primary sources), but its style may seem rather dry. Anyway, it's an excellent source for all those interested on Early Christianity who intends to start a serious study.