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Was Tertullian of Carthage a schismatic? How did he view the church and its bishops? In this study David Rankin sets the writings of Tertullian in the context of the early third-century church and its developments, and discusses Tertullian's own theology of the church, his imagery and his perception of church office and ministry. Tertullian's contribution to the development of the church has often been misunderstood, and this thorough exploration provides a timely reassessment of its nature and importance.Read more
- Thorough overview of Tertullian's writings in their historical context
- Close readings of specific passages
- Discussion of the most vexed questions of Tertullian scholarship
Reviews & endorsements
Rankin's prose is clear and fluent, which is noteworthy considering that he is peeling away layers of meanings, uses intentions, implications, and the like....after working his way through the book, the reader will realize that Rankin has performed a great service and created not only a detailed analysis but also a valuable sourcebook on Tertullian and the Church. The work will be, I suspect, the book to refer to, the book to contend with, and it definitely should not be neglected by Christian Latin lexicographers." Grant C. Roti, Christianity and LiteratureSee more reviews
"A provocative and important book." Choice
"...a serious attempt to alter profoundly the accepted assessment of Tertullian....What is especially compelling is his location of Tertullian in the historical context not only of earlier patristic thought but of intellectual and even literary trends within the wider lay, and even secular, community. It is striking how much falls into place once Rankin's core contention is accepted....a valuable contribution to our understanding of the development of Tertullian's thought in many areas and of the relations of the new Prophecy movement to orthodox Catholicism. Anyone seriously interested in the emergence of an institution that was to shape the whole course of medieval European history would be well advised to read this book." Hugh Lawson-Tancred, Canadian Philosophical Review
"Rankin, of Trinity Theological College in brisbane, carries forward into ecclesiology some recent appreciative scholarship on Tertullian. His thesis is clear, important, and closely argued....Rankin has notably contributed to our understanding of Tertullian and the history of ecclesiology." David Efroymson, Theological Studies
"Rankin's analysis of Tertullian's teaching, first about the nature of the Church and then about the clergy and their authority, is valuable not only for the light it throws on this problem of Tertullian's shift in position in the Chruch when he began to defend the value of Montanus's prophecies, but also for its elucidation of the outlook of early Christians regarding these matters." Canadian Catholic Review
"While I expect both his Protestant and Catholic readers will find good cause to keep the discussion alive, I think Raskin has made a significant contribution to the debate itself....Rankin's book almost serves as a source book for the debate over the questions he addresses." Phoenix
"Rankin clearly demonstrates that Tertullian did much to pave the way for the episcopal absolutism of Western Catholicism." Kevin Madigan, Religious Studies Review
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- Date Published: October 2007
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521044004
- length: 248 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.32kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
A note on chronology of texts
Part I. The Historical Questions:
1. The church in North Africa
2. Tertullian's relationship to the Catholic church
3. Tertullian's relationship to the New Prophecy movement
Part II. Tertullian's Doctrine of the Church: Introduction
4. Tertullian's ecclesiological images
5. The church as 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic'?
Part III. Tertullian's Doctrine of Ministry and Office: Introduction
6. Ministry as 'service' and as 'office'
7. The offices of the church
8. Women in ministry
9. Other ministries
10. Appointment to office
Conclusions. Part IV. General Conclusions: Appendix: a note on method
Index of citations from Tertullian.
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