"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Early Christian Thought

Routledge has brought out a number of helpful collections recently, including one I've used in several classes, The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church. Like all such collections, the quality of the articles is uneven, but there are some really excellent ones in it and it makes for a good textbook in survey courses on ecclesiology.

More recently, another collection has just been sent to me with much in it of interest to Eastern Christians: D. Jeffrey Bingham, ed., The Routledge Companion to Early Christian Thought (Routledge, 2010), 360pp.

About this book the publisher says:
The shape and course which Christian thought has taken over its history is largely due to the contributions of individuals and communities in the second and third centuries. Bringing together a remarkable team of distinguished scholars, The Routledge Companion to Early Christian Thought is the ideal companion for those seeking to understand the way in which Early Christian thought developed within its broader cultural milieu and was communicated through its literature, especially as it was directed toward theological concerns.
Divided into three parts, the Companion:

  • asks how Christianity's development was impacted by its interaction with cultural, philosophical, and religious elements within the broader context of the second and third centuries.
  • examines the way in which Early Christian thought was manifest in key individuals and literature in these centuries.
  • analyses Early Christian thought as it was directed toward theological concerns such as God, Christ, Redemption, Scripture, and the community and its worship.
There are numerous chapters in here of particular interest to Eastern Christians, including:

6) Ignatius and the Apostolic Fathers (Clayton Jefford)
7) Justin and the Apologists (Oskar Skarsaune)
8) Irenaeus of Lyons (D. Jeffrey Bingham)
10) Clement and Alexandrian Christianity (H. Fiska Hägg)
11) Origen (Ronald Heine)
14) God (M.C. Steenberg)
15) Christ: the Apostolic Fathers to the Third Century (John McGuckin)

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