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The Early Church (The Penguin History of the Church vol.1) [Paperback]

Henry Chadwick
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
The Penguin History of the Church, vol.1: The Early Church: The Early Church v. 1 The Penguin History of the Church, vol.1: The Early Church: The Early Church v. 1 4.6 out of 5 stars (14)
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The Early Church (The Penguin History of the Church vol.1) + The Penguin History of the Church: The Reformation: Reformation v. 3 (Hist of the Church) + The Penguin History of the Church: Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 1st edition (25 Oct 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014013753X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140137538
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 834,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback
Amazing book
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat outdated, but still an excellent introduction 7 April 2011
By David Withun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Some of the scholarship here is a bit outdated (for instance, the contention that Eusebius of Caesara and St. Epiphanius of Salamis were proto-iconoclasts has been thoroughly dismantled in recent years) but this is still the standard and the classic text on early Christian history, covering roughly the period of the Apostolic Fathers (late first century) to the Seventh Ecumenical Council (eight century) and introducing all of the major themes of Church history along the way, including theology, liturgy, art, major figures, etc. The focus throughout is primarily on Western Christianity but the author is also familiar with Eastern practice and generally takes a balanced approached. If anyone is interested in learning more about Church history but has very little knowledge of it already, this book is an excellent place to start.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic Introduction for the Lay Reader 15 Jun 2012
By Edward J. Barton - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Taking the reader from the first days in Jerusalem after Easter to the fall of Rome and the advent of the Dark ages around 600 CE, Chadwick covers nearly 600 years in 250 short, well written pages. Chadwick endeavors to cover a lot of ground, and does so fairly well. Whether discussing the many early Church schisms and heresies - Arius, Pelagious, Donatus, the Monophysites, Origen, and many of the other Church Fathers - such as Agustine of Hippo, Ireneaus, Justin Martyr, Jerome, Clement and the early popes, you will be quickly but effectively introduced to many of the characters, issues and events that shaped the development of the Church.

Chadwick also dives into the history of the liturgy, the development of the structure, the arts and the music of the early church, and provides a balanced view of the challenges faced during these formative years. Focusing on the politics as well as the practical, Chadwick will provide the reader with a view that promotes the traditions of the church to present day - such as the episcopacy, with challenges as the "real" development of the Bishop of Rome becoming first among equals and then the Pope derived more from politics than theology. A good read, a quick read, and a good basic introduction to a 2000 year old institution.
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