The standard history in two volumes of the growth of the early Church, from John the Baptist to the establishment as the official Roman religion.
Series: Library of Ecclesiastical History
Trade Information: JGEN
Available as: Paperback
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Specifications: 216x133mm (8.5x5.25in), 1150pp
Published: July 1993
Brilliantly written and documented, A History of the Early Church is a seminal work, important for laymen, indispensable for students. Hans Lietzmann's four-volume history of Christianity from its foundation through the early Church Fathers and the origins of monasticism is published here in a new two-volume paperback edition. The whole work is complemented by a foreword and updated bibliography by W.H.C. Frend.
Volume 1 contains the first two volumes of the original version: Part I: The Beginnings of the Christian Church, and Part II: The Founding of the Church Universal. Part I covers the period from the ministry of John the Baptist to the Marcionite and Gnostic heresies of the 2nd century. Part II continues the narrative through to the death of Origen. In addition to brilliant character studies of such figures as Tertullian and Origen, it contains notable chapters on the principal problems confronting the early Church.
Volume 2 contains the third and fourth volumes of the original version: Part III: Constantine to Julian, and Part IV: The Era of the Church Fathers. Part III covers the period in which the Church, emerging from the persecution under Diocletian, found comparative security under Constantine. It also encompasses the stormy years of the Arian controversy and the short-lived attempt at a pagan revival under Julian the Apostate. Part IV concludes with treatment of the dramatic encounters between Ambrose and the Emperor Theodosius I; the account of Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzus, Basil of Caesarea, and their formative influence on Eastern Orthodoxy; and an exhaustive final chapter on the origins of monasticism.
Lietzmann's work stands on its own. It was the fruit of forty years' work, by an exceptionally gifted mind, on original sources connected with the progress of the early church. It is also a pioneering work in the interdisciplinary approach to this movement ... It remains a work for all students of the early centuries of the Christian era. From the Foreword by W.H.C. Frend
Foreword by W.H.C. Frend
Part I: The Beginnings of the Christian Church
1. Palestine and the Roman Empire
2. Judaism in Palestine
3. John the Baptist
5. The First Church
6. The Jewish Diaspora
8. The Christian Missionary Churches
9. The Roman Empire and its Religious Life
10. The Fate of Jewish Christianity
11. The Sub-Apostolic Period
Part II: The Founding of the Church Universal
1. The World Empire of Rome in the Second and Third Centuries
2. The Church
3. The New Testament
4. Theology and the Rule of Faith
6. Christianity Face to Face with the World
7. The Apologists
8. Asia Minor and the Montanist Movement
12. Syria and Beyond
Part III: From Constantine to Julian
1. Downfall and Reconstruction of the Empire
2. The Final Victory of the Christian Church
3. The Donatist Controversy
4. The Arian Controversy to the Death of Constantine
6. The Spirit of the Age of Constantine
7. Constantine's Successors
8. Constantius as Sole Emperor
9. The Spirit of the Age Following Constantine
Part IV: The Era of the Church Fathers
1. Jovian, Valentinian, and Valens
2. Theodosius I and the End of the Arian Controversy
3. The Western Church under Valentinian I and Gratian
4. Ambrose and Theodosius
5. Popular Christianity in the Fourth Century
Professor Hans Leitzmann was born in Düsseldorf in 1875. Despite an early aptitude for science, he turned to the study of classics and theology. He became Germany's premier authority in the field of patristics, being elected Chair of New Testament and Christian Archaeology at Berlin University in 1923. An internationally recognised scholar, he wrote and published prolifically in the fields of classics, philology, theology and Church history, often at the expense of his health. He began work on his monumental History of the Early Church in 1928, and the final volume was completed from his manuscripts after his death in 1942.