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Beginning to Read the Fathers: Revised Edition Paperback – 1 May 2012


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About the Author

Boniface Ramsey has taught extensively at Catholic University, Seton Hall University, and other institutions of higher learning. His specialty is the fathers of the church and he has published widely in this field. Currently the pastor of St. Josephs Church in New York, Fr. Ramsey holds graduate degrees from the Catholic University of America and the Institut Catholique in Paris.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction to the Church Fathers 6 Oct. 2008
By J. Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ramsey undertakes a truly daunting task here in crafting an overview of the major themes in the patristic literature of the early church. He does a more than satisfactory job of synthesizeing this vast body of work into a concise volume. While the readability of the book is occasionally dense, the book as a whole is a brilliant immersion into the world and thought of the Church Fathers. This book will satisfy those who are curious to learn more about the theology of the earliest church leaders. Ramsey even offers some helpful supplemental material, including a suggested program for further reading and a timeline of the Fathers, their writings and concurrent events in church and world history. Recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the Fathers, Start here. 2 Mar. 2015
By J.M.K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased Beginning to Read the Fathers to accompany me as I wade further into patristic thinkers and writers, many of whom, aside from St. Augustine, I was familiar with only in passing and then only in bits and pieces, perhaps from the Catechism or the Office of Readings. The author provides a perfect thematic introduction to patristic thought in general, with intuitively ordered chapters on various subjects including Prayer, Scripture, the human condition, etc. Also included are a very well-put-together reading program and a very thorough bibliography. This is a starting point from which I feel much more comfortable jumping in and actually reading some of the Fathers and Doctors of the church. This is an amazing condensation of such a huge field of writing into a relatively concise volume, particularly for a layperson such as myself, constrained by time and seeking an introduction and context before delving further into the actual writings. The thought of reading the Fathers is really very dizzying due to the sheer scope of available authors and works, but Boniface Ramsey makes it approachable. Also an excellent resource for a person leading a parish Bible study, Sunday School/religious ed, etc. The Kindle edition is clearly structured with a smooth table of contents and good search functionality.
This work, as I said, is arranged as a thematic overview. For short sketches of individual Fathers and Doctors and their thought, I would also recommend Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's "portrait gallery of the Church" series of General Audience catecheses, which are available open-source on the Holy See's website as well as in print: The Fathers, The Fathers, Vol. II, and Doctors of the Church. I will also note that the standard, if dated, 38-volume patristics set, Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, is available very inexpensively for Kindle: The Complete Ante-Nicene & Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers Collection.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the time. 21 Aug. 2013
By Seeker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written, well researched, very insightful. The author obviously has a thorough knowledge of his subject, as well as the historical background of the period. He provides a solid grounding in this very significant aspect of Church history and of all of Christianity. Although the book is complete in its own right, it is meant to be a survey which will lead to further inquiry. I found the book very helpful and accessible to a non-professional.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 13 Feb. 2014
By jer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to read and serves as a great into to the Fathers of the Church. Nicely organized with a very helpful study guide and bibliography.
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