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8 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary, 27 Aug. 2013
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I am on a Christian studies course and as a novice to this I am coming up against a lot of unfamiliar jargon. This does help some but I have found it doesn't have everything I need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book to have., 18 April 2013
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A straightforward readable reference book cheaper than its big brother but equally useful for my level of need as a trainee reader.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Christian Church Dictionary, 13 April 2013
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Had to have for a course with essays, so useful reference. Entries good and mostly full enough. Good range of entries
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 15 Mar. 2013
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An excellent resource, easy to use. Ideal for theology students, clergy, lay clergy and laity to aid their understanding of Christianity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A mine of information on all aspects of church history, 28 Jan. 2013
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R. J. Phillips (Novosibirsk, Russia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My mum found me a copy of this for 50 p at a second-hand bookshop. An absolute gem of a book with a mine of information on all sorts of aspects of church history - and concise as well. Reviewing notes for a course I teach on church history I was able to confirm facts, find additional information and include new names and topics thanks to this book. I understand that later additions suffer from over-coverage of 'relevant' topics such as women's ordination. Sometimes it is nice to be able to study history qua history rather than being distracted by contemporary agendas.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'Enquire Within Upon Everything' Christian - almost, 22 Jan. 2013
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'The Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church' by E.A. Livingstone is an excellent buy because it does what it says on the cover. It's a first-rate dictionary and it's concise. As an example of the former I would stress the way one article can easily lead the reader to another *(asterisked) article which will often both deepen and widen your understanding of the initial entry. As an example of the latter I would recommend the CONCISE articles on Christianity in individual countries from the obvious (e.g. Sweden) to the less obvious (e.g. Burma).
I'm mainly interested in the historical development of Christianity so I was delighted to find such esoteric subjects as 'stylites',' filioque clause' and the 'Brethren of the Common Life'. Certain technical terms (e.g. 'corrody' and 'homeral veil') are clearly described: but there are some inconsistencies (e.g. Pardoner is there but Summoner is not; canon law is in but ecclesiastical court is not). Some articles are very expansive (e.g. Ordination of Women) but a few miss' out important references -' schism omits the Great Papal Schism (1378-1415) which possibly stimulated the seeds of the Reformation. I was disappointed at the examination of the 'Proofs' of God's existence - but, then, what could I expect in such a CONCISE book. Some articles vary in depth:' Jehovah's Witnesses' is full with two cross-references to early leaders;' Mormons' is brief with no such references. There are articles on both the 42 Articles and the 39 Articles but a link is described only one way.
How should a reader approach the book - apart from looking up a single entry? Take one entry and follow the * (asterisked) references throughout linked articles. Just flick through the book and, like good encyclopaedias, it will suck you in and you'll be amazed how much you pick up in 30 minutes about matters of which you knew nothing five minutes before!
So why 4 stars? There are articles on atheism and agnosticism but none on humanism; on witchcraft but not on wicca and paganism. So far, I've only found one instance of what must be the gravest sin for an author of such a work: an article with judgemental opinion. The article on 'Spiritualism' begins: 'A system of (often superstitious beliefs intended to establish communication with the spirits of the dead.......'Why this approach? The article concludes, 'their understanding of Him (i.e. Jesus) differs from that of the orthodox Churches'. From my experience that could also be said of Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Christian Scientists, to name but three MODERN groups. With all that I would repeat my recommendation of this work. I only wish there was the equivalent for Islam!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it needs., 19 Dec. 2012
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Not much needs to be said. Excellent collection of things both well known and less well known. Easy to understand, very helpful. Must buy for those with an interest, large or small, in the Church. Must have also for church goers, as it allows for them to have a brief understading church related topics.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 19 Dec. 2009
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This book replaced my original bought in 1976 and which completely disintegrated. I find it extremely helpful in my work.
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