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Documents of the Christian Church Paperback – September 16, 1999
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About the Author
Chris Maunder is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University College of Ripon and York St John.
Top Customer Reviews
Overall this is a good collection. However, for every document included, there were 20 more that could have been added. This is just the nature of the book. The editors did a great job of choosing relevant documents. So it's a good collection that will scratch the surface, acting as an introduction, but is by no means the only book someone studying Christian thought in-depth would need. However, the book provides original texts, which many people rarely get to read, so that is quite a treat. While the book is small, the print is tiny, so they manage to squeeze in a lot of material in 461 pages! As a collection of primary texts, this is one of the best introductions to the thought of the Church from its birth until today.
Documents of the Christian Church is wonderfully organized: thematically by historical period. Hence, one reads the early Christian apologists of the 2nd century and then immediately after that one reads of the theologies of martyrdom; one reads of the disputes over the incarnation of Christ before one reads about debates over tansubstantiation; one reads Vatican II documents before one reads liberation theologies. The writings of saints and heretics, Doctors and others, popes, councils and relevant non-Christian writers all appear between the covers of this book.
Of course, it ought to be noted that the excerpts are sometimes tremendously short - only a few lines or so. However, each reference is cited so that the curious reader who wants to go and read volumes of primary texts can do so; for those less inclined to do so, this book is an excellent first-hand introduction to the development/s of Christian thought.
However, the documents are largely confined to the Western church. The documentary history of the Eastern churches is largely absent for almost 1000 years: between 1054 (the Great Schism between the Eastern and the Western church) and the beginning of the ecumenical movement in the 20th century.Read more ›
All in all, this is an essential reference book of primary sources for those studying the history of Christian doctrines. This, of course, should be supplemented with secondary sources such as Robert Louis Wilken (Roman Catholic), Jaroslav Pelikan (Greek Orthodox), and Henry Chadwick (Anglican)...the big three of early church studies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is wonderfully organized by historical period. You read about the early Christian apologists of the 2nd century and then immediately after that you move into the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric Taylor
A classic reader, updated for a new age. Essential for my teaching.Published 4 months ago by James Hart Brumm
Helpful tool for getting primary resources. This book was used in my church history class in seminary.Published 7 months ago by Luke Gorsett
Excellent resource for church history course that makes accessible portions of essential church documents discussed in a church history course. Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. Hatfield
While not volume of this size can be comprehensive, this one gives a pretty good overview.Published 14 months ago by Alfredo Olona