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The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature


Frances Young, R. A. Norris, John Behr, Ronald. E. Heine, Sebastian Brock, Karen Jo Torjesen, David Dawson, Oliver Nicholson, Andrew Louth, David G. Hunter, Mark Vessey, Henry Chadwick, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, R. A. Markus, Lewis Ayres
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  • Date Published: September 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521697507

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About the Authors
  • The writings of the Church Fathers form a distinct body of literature that shaped the early church and built upon the doctrinal foundations of Christianity established within the New Testament. Christian literature in the period c.100–c.400 constitutes one of the most influential textual oeuvres of any religion. Written mainly in Greek, Latin and Syriac, Patristic literature emanated from all parts of the early Christian world and helped to extend its boundaries. The History offers a systematic account of that literature and its setting. The works of individual writers in shaping the various genres of Christian literature is considered, alongside three general essays, covering distinct periods in the development of Christian literature, which survey the social, cultural and doctrinal context within which Christian literature arose and was used by Christians. This is a landmark reference book for scholars and students alike.

    • A contemporary reference book for a distinct body of literature which shaped the early Church
    • Comprehensive overview of the writers who shaped the various genres of Christian literature c.100 – c.400
    • Contributors are leading figures in their field
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In sum: this is a fine and important book, with excellent essays.' Church Times

    'As no-one can keep abreast of every aspect of the discipline, this volume will be useful even to specialists who may not be fully aware of developments outside their immediate field of interest. … this is a most useful book which will be of great help to anyone who needs a guide to part or all of the period which it covers.' Evangelical Quarterly

    '… the most exhaustive treatment of early Christian literature in quite some time, and is an indispensable reference work.' Religious Studies Review

    'The Cambridge History of early Literature is a first-rate work of Scholarship. it will be a welcome addition to those handy reference shelves and may well bump some works that are already there to a lower place.' Scottish Journal of Theology

    'The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature is a first-rate work of scholarship. it will be a welcome addition to those handy reference shelves and may well bump some works that are already there to a lower place.' Journal of SJT

    'There are three standard approaches to the study of ancient Christianity. One is historical, another is theological, and finally a third approach is literary. … The present Cambridge history masterfully integrates these three approaches into one volume, which its editors rightly hope will become 'a standard work of reference.' It is indeed a superb volume, which as its title indicates surveys early Christian literature from its beginnings up to the middle of the fifth century.' Gregorianum

    'This volume will certainly stand both as a statement of the progress made so far in this field and as a prospectus for future …' Journal of Theological Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521697507
    • length: 568 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.9kg
    • contains: 1 map 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Beginnings: The New Testament to Irenaeus:
    1. Introduction: Christian literary genres and their second-century development Frances Young
    2. Apostolic and subapostolic writings: the New Testament and the Apostolic fathers R. A. Norris
    3. Gnostic literature R. A. Norris
    4. Apocryphal material: acts of the martyrs R. A. Norris
    5. Apologetic material: Melito and the Peri Pascha R. A. Norris
    6. Irenaeus R. A. Norris
    7. Social and historical setting John Behr
    8. Articulating identity R. A. Norris
    9. Christian teaching Frances Young
    10. Towards a hermeneutic of second-century texts Frances Young
    Part II. The Third Century:
    11. The Alexandrians Ronald E. Heine
    12. The beginnings of Latin Christian literature Ronald E. Heine
    13. Hippolytus, pseudo-Hippolytus and the early canons Ronald E. Heine
    14. Cyprian and Novatian Ronald E. Heine
    15. Syriac literature Sebastian Brock
    16. Concluding review: the literary culture of the third century Frances Young
    17. Social and historical setting: Christianity as culture critique Karen Jo Torjesen
    18. Articulating identity Ronald E. Heine
    19. Christian teaching David Dawson
    20. The significance of third-century Christian literature Frances Young
    Part III. Foundations of a New Culture: From Diocletian to Cyril:
    21. Classical genres in Christian guise: Christian genres in classical guise Frances Young
    22. Arnobius and Lactantius Oliver Nicholson
    23. Eusebius and the birth of Church history Andrew Louth
    24. Fourth-century Alexandrians: Athanasius and Didymus Andrew Louth
    25. Palastine: Cyril of Jerusalem and Epiphanius Andrew Louth
    26. The Cappadocians Andrew Louth
    27. Fourth-century Latin writers: Hilary, Victorinus, Ambrose, Ambrosiaster David G. Hunter
    28. Jerome and Rufinus Mark Vessey
    29. Augustine Henry Chadwick
    30. John Chrysostom and the antiochene school to Theodoret of Cyrrhus Andrew Louth
    31. Cyril of Alexandria Andrew Louth
    32. Hagiography Andrew Louth
    33. Ephrem and the Syriac tradition Sebastian Brock
    34. The literature of the monastic movement Andrew Louth
    35. Women and words: texts by and about women Susan Ashbrook Harvey
    36. Conciliar records and canons Andrew Louth
    37. Social and historical setting R. A. Markus
    38. Articulating identity Lewis Ayres
    39. Christian teaching Frances Young
    40. Retrospect: interpretation and appropriation Frances Young.

  • Editors

    Frances Young, University of Birmingham
    Frances Young is Emerita Professor of Theology, University of Birmingham.

    Lewis Ayres, Durham University
    Lewis Ayres is Associate Professor of Historical Theology at the Candler School of Theology and Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University.

    Andrew Louth, University of Durham
    Andrew Louth is Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies at the University of Durham.

    Assisted by

    Augustine Casiday, University of Wales, Lampeter


    Frances Young, R. A. Norris, John Behr, Ronald. E. Heine, Sebastian Brock, Karen Jo Torjesen, David Dawson, Oliver Nicholson, Andrew Louth, David G. Hunter, Mark Vessey, Henry Chadwick, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, R. A. Markus, Lewis Ayres

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