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The Making of Orthodoxy: Essays In Honour Of Henry Chadwick Paperback – 18 Apr 2002

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Book Description

This volume of essays honours Henry Chadwick, probably the greatest and best-known of English scholars of early Christianity. The essays discuss different aspects of how Christianity developed norms and standards in its teaching, how it came to have - and to enforce - a definition of orthodoxy and heresy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wit, wisdom, and theological acumen combined. Great Sampler! 13 Aug. 2003
By matt - Published on
Format: Paperback
Many of the Festschrift that I pick up are useful for one or two articles, with the remainder dealing with topics too broad for my rather narrow interest in tradition and the development of dogma. Rowan Williams, however, has done a masterful job in editing this collection of essays in honor of Henry Chadwick by narrowing the collection to a very specific timeframe and subject matter. Of course, this is in part owing to Chadwick's interest as a scholar. There are 16 essays and all of them are by really top-notch scholars in the field of early Christianity. I especially enjoyed reading Williams' essay, "Does it make sense to speak of pre-Nicene orthodox?" and Richard Hanson's, "The achievement of orthodoxy in the fourth century", each dealing with the various controversies and offering sympathetic defenses of the various schools of thought, nuancing away from more traditional, "Arius Evil Athanasius Good" accounts, showing clearly that the heretics were neither illogical, or impious. Rather, for the most part, they were trying to articulate their own views by drawing upon various aspects of the common tradition; their mistakes often the result of a too literalistic, one-sided adherence to one part of that very tradition. In a sense the major heretics are the equivalent of our modern day fundamentalists I that they hold on too tightly to one aspect of the truth, strangling the life out it, inducing a theological rigamortis (sp?), and then left holding a rigid system that does not resemble the malleable truth of the whole tradition.
All of the essays are coherent and insightful. Really worth the read! My only sorrow is that Jaroslav Pelikan doesn't have an essay in the book. He must have been too busy writing for one of the two-dozen or so collections that he was involved with at the time!
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