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The Early Church: The Story of Emergent Christianity, Revised Edition (Penguin History Of The Church #1) [Paperback]

By Henry Chadwick (Author)
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Item description for The Early Church: The Story of Emergent Christianity, Revised Edition (Penguin History Of The Church #1) by Henry Chadwick...

Examines the beginning of the Christian movement during the first centureis AD, and the explosive force of its expansion throughout the Roman world.

Publishers Description
This first volume of the penguin history of the church looks at the beginning of the Christian movement during the first centuries AD and at the explosive force of its expansion throughout the Roman world. Drawing on recent historical research, Professor Henry Chadwock shows how Christianity had its roots in a synthesis of contemporary ideas and beliefs, and analyses the causes of its persecution under Diocletian, the fanaticism of its martyrs and its bitter internal controversies. The conversion of Constantine and the edict of Theodosius meant that the church had to reconcile its spiritual duties with a new, worldly role as an established church for good government throughout the empire, and Professor Chadwick completes his history by demonstrating how this conflict of responsiblilties led to the emergence of the papacy and the monastic movement, the twin pillars of Christianity in the Middle Ages.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin
Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.7" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 1993
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
Edition  Revised  
Series  Penguin History Of The Church  
Series Number  1  
ISBN  0140231994  
ISBN13  9780140231991  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Sep 19, 2017 10:17.
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More About Henry Chadwick

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Henry Chadwick (1920-2008) enjoyed international renown as one of the leading church historians of the twentieth century. He held senior appointments at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, latterly as Emeritus Regius Professor of Divinity, Cambridge. Chadwick's scholarship was complemented by his active involvement in church life. Ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1944, he developed a deep commitment to church unity and took a leading role in the Anglican and Roman Catholic dialogues of the mid-1970s.
Chadwick authored numerous books and articles throughout his career. At Oxford University Press he held series editorship of Oxford Early Christian Texts and Oxford Early Christian Studies, and co-edited the Oxford History of the Christian Church series with his brother, Professor Owen Chadwick. His acclaimed translation of Augustine's Confessions is available from Oxford World Classics.

Henry Chadwick lived in Cambridge. Henry Chadwick was born in 1920 and died in 2008.

Henry Chadwick has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)
  2. Hist of the Church
  3. Oxford History of the Christian Church
  4. Very Short Introductions

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Early Church (The Penguin History of the Church) (v. 1)?

Understand The Names You Recognize!  Jan 6, 2007
"The Early Church" provides the reader with an excellent history of the first six centuries of Christianity. Author Henry Chadwick covers structural and doctrinal development, along with the rise and fall of heresies and introductions to the leading characters of the period.

This excellent book provides an overview of so many things which casual students of Church history probably heard of but may not have really understood. From my reading of this book I have a better understanding of early heresies including Arianism (Jesus was not co-eternal with the Father), Donatism (no reconciliation with apostates) Manichaeism (a secret, gnostic type sect) and Pelagianism (denial of original sin). The role of councils, such as Nicaea, in combating heresy and guiding the development of orthodoxy is made clearer. A greater understanding of the roles of the Church Fathers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Theodore of Mopsuestia, St. Jerome and St. Augustine is gained by the reader of this book.

From a theological or historical perspective this book is a treasure. One test I apply to books is whether they inspire me to study more. This one does. I am confident that it will do the same for you.
Concise and interesting  Jan 4, 2007
This is a great introduction to the early church. While it provided an interesting history, the stories of the early church leaders and martyrs also were inspirational. Reading about these early heros renewed my faith in what the Catholic Church is really about. Jesus did matter and is just as relevant today.
Concise, readable overview.  Jan 20, 2006
In very few pages, the author manages to give an excellent recap of the key events and forces which shaped church history in the first 6 centuries. He goes into enough detail, howwever, that I'll bet even avid readers of church history will still find here material previously unknown to them. His organizing the material according to topics rather than by a strict chronological order makes it particularily easy to understand how the church grappled with its' earliest issues and crises. He does not seem to hold any partisan view: he even seems to regret that Arianism did not take hold in the mainstream church!

This book can be recommended for readers at any level who wish to learn about church history.
A Cool and Reserved account of Early Church History  Jan 15, 2006

"[Eusebius of Caesarea] was tempted to see evidence of the power of Christianity in its social or worldly triumphs, expressed in ... or in the adherence of distinguished intellectuals like Origen. Towards such triumphalist assumptions a 20th-century Christian is likely to be cool and reserved." H. Chadwick

Chadwick's Integrity:
This is what makes Chadwick's approach analytically reflective and more sound in his deductive interpretation than the famous first early Church Historian.
Most of the reviews evaluated this comprehensive 'History of the Early Church' in general terms, or compared it with other available works, based on reconstruction of ecclesiastic events, and controversies. Without a concise 'Search Inside this Book,' prospective readers could not relate most reviewers evaluation with the book thematic treatment, author's methodology, or style.

Topical Approach:
The book contents reflect the eminent patristic scholar and early Church historian approach to history implied in his book does evoke ecumenical impartiality and underlines that the early Church was most active in its eastern informed centers in Alexandria and Antioch. He advances his case, in first book quarter, from its Jewish background emerging from the Apostolic age to the foundation of the Roman Papacy. On his engaging account, the genuine historian advances from the earliest Church to the Gentile assembly (Ecclesia), and its encounter with the Roman Empire. He then explores the bonds of unity, and Gnostic diversity, elaborating on the Bible and forms of Ministry subjecting faith to order. The geographical expansion of the church is linked to early defense of faith as a cause of growth and success.

Church Fathers:
In the next three chapters the reader enjoys Chadwick's masterful expertise in patrology, encountering through Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, early controversies. He then ably interprets Third Century society, Pagan revival, persecutions and their consequences. Constantine and the first Council of Nicaea, are discussed within the serious Arian controversy and the conflict of Paganisam with Christianity, covering the Fourth Century and Church State and society in the first half of his essay.

Monasticism to Papacy:
In 'The ascetic movement' the author attempts to find reasons for the attitude of detachment by monastics after the virtual capture of society by the Church, and the rise to eminence of the Bishops in the Fourth century. He follows that with Chrysostom's tragedy, a consequence to the controversy about Origenism, and his advocates against aging Epiphanius fundamentalism. Meet with Diodore, Theodore, and Appolinaris to the Christological controversy between Alexandria and Antioch represented by Cyril and Nestorius, and its aftermath. The author then develops Latin Christianity, started by Augustine. He ends his study with theological issues, The Trinity, the Donatist schism, and Pelagian controversy. At the end he gives a fascinating condensed review of Worship in liturgy, daily office, and Church music. He gives a glimpse of Christian Art, with a brief account on icons and their veneration in the Byzantine Church.

Historic Conclusion:
Chadwick concise conclusion summarizes his findings on the apostolic church continuity with Israel, authority in second-century church, evolution of Christian doctrine in opposition to heretical thought, Christian penetration among the educated and elite, Christianity as religion of the empire, and ascetics withdrawal. He concludes with the rise of papacy by Gregory the great, and separation from Greek speaking churches.
The Early Church  Jan 2, 2006
This is a very good introductory book on the early Christian church. It covers the development of church doctrine and shows how Orthodoxy emerged as Christianity established itself as a legitimate religion. Chadwick's knowledge of his subject is vast yet he did not get into long diatribes on any one subject. The pace of the book is steady yet the reader feels well informed upon finishing it.

Chadwick shows how the church responded to gnostic writings and how the more conservative elements came to give validation to those scriptures they believed canonical. Gnosticism was perhaps the greatest threat ever to face the early church and once it was subdued it became easier for the church to deal with future heretical teachings. Two other dogmas receive ample coverage in Chadwick's book, Arianism, and the Catholic/Donatist debates.

Chadwick also gives mini biographies of several key players fromboth the orthodox school as well as those deemed heretics. Tertullian, Marcion, Augustine, Origen, the early Popes, and even certain emperors are given enough coverage to show how their lives impacted the early church.

While Chadwick covers the church well, at times his book suffers a bit from political insufficiencies. The split of the Roman Empire into east and west is not fully explained, even from how it impacted the church's history. He only gives a few sentences on the barbarian sack of Rome in 410 and the removal of the political seat of government to Ravenna. Also there was a mutual distrust between the Roman church and its counterpart in Constantinople, but these issues are not elaborately explained. Persecutions are not detailed to a great extent.

But perhaps the intent of Chadwick was to provide enough background information to pique the reader to seek further knowledge. If that was the case then this book is remarkably successful.

It may not be the book of choice for college level survey courses, but this book works well in its specific niche and should remain popular for years to come.

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