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The World of the Early Christians (Fathers Of The Church) Paperback – June 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Review

At last - at long last - someone has written a book that introduces the general reader to early Christians and their world. . . . Professor Kelly shows himself a master of both classroom and research carrel, and one thing more: He writes in graceful, crystal clear, and lively prose, unburdened with even the slightest hint of jargon.
Journal of Early Christian Studies


A well-written introduction to a vast topic. . . . I have been strongly recommending it to both graduates and undergraduates around the Southeast.
William Harmless, S.J., Spring Hill College


. . . belongs in any parish library or in any university library where introductory courses on Christianity are taught. It will serve well as a supplemental volume for college courses or parish classes on early Church history, theology, or spirituality.
Anglican Theological Review

About the Author

Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, chair of the department of theology and religious studies at John Carroll University, is active in adult religious education in the Greater Cleveland area. The World of the Early Christians (1997), The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition (2002), and History and Heresy (2012) are among his nine previous books published by Liturgical Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fathers Of The Church (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Glazier (June 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814653138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814653135
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,451,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
According to the introduction by the editor of the series, 'The Message of the Fathers of the Church' is actually a companion to two other series, one on the Old Testament and one on the New Testament, meant to bring more detail of the tradition and history of the church to bear on the way in which we read and understand the scriptural texts.

According to the editor Thomas Halton, 'The term "Fathers" is usually reserved for Christian writers marked by orthodoxy of doctrine, holiness of life, ecclesiastical approval, and antiquity.' Particularly with concern for antiquity, the present series gives a bit more flexibility to the task, but for this particular volume, antiquity is certainly a common strand.

The author of this particular volume, Joseph Kelly, laments about the difficulty of writing such a text on the history of the early church; the audiences are varied, and will require different kinds of information - indeed, according to Kelly, even the seminarians and religious studies graduate students often have far more skill and knowledge in other areas of more 'practical' concern and relatively little knowledge about the early church. Kelly highlights some crucial questions often overlooked - why did the early Christians have a concern for using philosophy as a tool? Kelly also addresses the 'mythological' ideas of early Christendom, such as the idea that the Roman persecutions were general and continuous 'from the death of Jesus until some unspecified later time when, for some reason, they stopped.'

Kelly acknowledges that the world of the early Christians is a mixture 'of the foreign and the familiar' and that sometimes the more familiar can be equally problematic to our understanding.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent introductory text for historical study.
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By Richard on December 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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