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Tertullian and the Church


  • Date Published: November 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521044004

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About the Authors
  • Was Tertullian of Carthage a schismatic? How did he view the Church and its bishops? How did he understand the exercise of authority within the Church? In this study David Rankin sets the writings of Tertullian in the context of the early third-century Church and the developments it was undergoing in relation to both its structures and its self-understanding. He then discusses Tertullian's own theology of the Church, his imagery and his perception of Church office and ministry. Tertullian maintained throughout his career a high view of the Church, and this in part constituted the motivation for his vitriolic attacks on the Church's hierarchy after he had joined the New Prophecy movement. His contribution to the development of the Church has often been misunderstood, and this thorough exploration provides a reassessment of its nature and importance.

    • Thorough overview of Tertullian's writings in their historical context
    • Close readings of specific passages
    • Discussion of the most vexed questions of Tertullian scholarship
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    'A work of fine scholarship … the church historian surely hits the target' New Directions

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521044004
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 141 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.337kg
    • 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
    Select bibliography
    General index
    Index of citations from Tertullian.

  • Author

    David Rankin, Trinity Theological College, Brisbane

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