- Series: Garland Reference Library of the Humanities (Book 1839)
- Paperback: 1252 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (January 3, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0815333196
- ISBN-13: 978-0815333197
- Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Second Edition (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities) 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
This single-volume encyclopedia contains 977 articles by 135 qualified scholars of various academic and ecumenical backgrounds, with coverage extending from New Testament times to approximately 600 A.D. Entries cover persons, places, doctrines, and practices and include some articles on modern scholars important to the study of early Christianity. The entries vary in length, but each begins with a brief definition, or identification, followed by chronological or topical development. Excellent short bibliographies following each article give patristic citations, editions, translations, and studies. The articles avoid technical language and provide good basic summaries of the material. This work will be useful for teachers, scholars, and students as well as for reference work. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
- C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
..."concise and reliable information. Highly recommended as a core title in all personal and professional Christian historical studies collections."
-The Midwest Book Review
"It is a testimony to the vitality and breadth of early Christian studies in North America. It is also testimony to the perceptive editing and revising skills of Everett Ferguson and his associate editors, Michael McHugh and Frederick Norris."
-The Catholic Historical Review
"[I]ndispensable for the scholar for its concise and accurate information as well as the basic and updated bibliography for every entry. We commend the editor, contributors and publisher for this major achievement and valuable reference on the early Church."
-Coptic Church Review
..."provides a useful orientation to the major topics, the scholarly issues, and the literature through which to begin exploring an important but complex set of places, times, and people."
"Remarkably successful in its aim to be comprehensive....This substantive reference work will continue to appeal to general readers and students as well as specialists. Highly recommended."
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
I would have given 4 stars (based on some of the same reasons others express), but in recent shock over the poor of scholarship in one article by the editor himself, I can only give it 3. Otherwise, it is a well written, well assembled and helpful volume. Sometimes it does suffer from redundancy between articles, due to different authors on overlapping subject matter. Fergusons errors in the one article do cause me to question the expertise of the authors, as well we all should. Even Pelican overgeneralizes in some places which may lead readers to mistaken conclusions about (for instance) the originator of a particular doctrinal perspective.
What is the Ferguson error? It is his pease on "Real Presence." Now, though I am yet a Protestant, I've done more than a little research on the issue. Ferguson's overview appears a tempered and mild Protestant apologetic for diversity of views among the early fathers. He simply assumes and asserts that it originates from hyperliteralism in Gentile interpretation (which is possible, but not provable - and it ignores the possibility that early bishops such as Ignatius were so taught by the Apostles). This hardly reflects the universality of belief in the real presence found among the early fathers, and in early councils.
Ferguson tempers this universality with references to use of "figure," but admits the authors in question were literalists. -- In other words, the elements are figures for the reality of Christ's presence. -- Of Alexandrians, Clement is a literalist (Paid 1:6; 43:3), but with a good appreciation for the how these acts also reflect spiritual consuming of the word, and as faith. Origen could be viewed as holding symbolism, depending whether one takes his verbiage about consuming the word in communion to be receiving what is spoken listening, or whether he is speaking of receiving the Word (i.e. the person of Christ). But most astoundingly, he asserts Augustine as a symbolicist, only sometimes using the terms of realism. But while Augustine to a symbolic view of John 6:53, this does not implicate his overall perspective, which was decidedly literal over and over again.
To say, "A real presence and/or realistic understanding of the benefits...were not the same as a change in the elements" would seem to imply that the multitude of realistic statements really implied symbolism, which is clearly not the case. Going from bread and wine to "the Eucharist IS the FLESH of our Savior Jesus Christ" (Ignatius), implicitly demands a concept of change (not an addition of, or a symbol of). However, it is true that our first existing written explaining the it as change is found in Cyril.
Ironically, one of the authors Ferguson sites in his bibliography (Darwell Stone) flatly oposes Ferguson's position (see "A History of the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist"). Analysis of the use of the words "figure" and "symbol" have a different meaning than we take them to today; a meaning that does not contradict they literalism that the fathers elsewhere expressed. --- Advice? Just skip secondary sources, and read the fathers yourself.
Finally, as with any book, we should also be aware that the archaeological information may grow a bit dated.
That said, buy this book. It is (or appears) mostly very good.