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Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity (3 vols.)

ISBN: 9780830897179
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The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity covers eight centuries of the Christian church and comprises 3,220 entries by a team of 266 scholars from 26 countries representing a variety of Christian traditions. It draws upon such fields as archaeology, art and architecture, biography, cultural studies, ecclesiology, geography, history, philosophy, and theology.

The encyclopedia’s A-to-Z coverage extends from “Aaron (iconography)” to “Zosimus, pope” and chronologically from Christianity’s origins to Bede (d. 735) in the West and John of Damascus (d. ca. 749) in the Greek East, with detailed emphasis on the first four centuries of Christian history.

Extensive cross-referencing provides ease in exploring related articles, and helpful bibliographies, including primary sources (texts, critical editions, translations) and key secondary sources (books and journal articles), give access to the very latest in-depth scholarship in countless disciplines of study.

This product will be downloaded as a single resource.

  • Covers nearly eight centuries of Christian history
  • Provides insights into special areas of Patrisic study
  • Comprises over 3,000 entries by a team of 266 scholars

Top Highlights

“The earliest writings, the *Didache and the Letter of *Barnabas, following the schema of the two ways, life and death, teaching that the one who walks in the way of life does not kill and, consequently, will not take the life of a fetus by abortion (phthora) (Didache, 15–17; Barn., Ep 19,5). The act of abortion, in addition to being a grave lack of love for one’s neighbor, is above all an offense against the law of God, precisely because it destroys one of his creatures.” (Volume 1, Page 11)

“Irenaeus, who was a native of Smyrna, states that he met him as a child and heard him speak of his acquaintance with ‘John,’” (Volume 3, Page 248)

“quadragesima, which in turn corresponds to the Greek noun tessarakostē—i.e., ‘a period of forty days/the fortieth day” (Volume 2, Page 538)

“one who will be a person later is already one now (see Tertull., Apologeticum 9,8; De exhort. cast. 12,5).” (Volume 1, Page 11)

“he was the first to attribute the theophanies of the OT to the Logos ‘in human form’ (Dial. 61,1; 68,10)” (Volume 2, Page 494)

Words fail me for celebrating the fullness and excellence of this unique pioneer compendium, which brings together just about everything that is known about the first eight Christian centuries. A must-have for libraries, it will prove an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike. All praise to IVP for making it available to us English readers who could not handle the original Italian.

—J.I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is highly recommended as a front line source for information on all aspects of the early church. . . . It is a must for any seminary, training school, or other educational institution. Those specializing in church history will want to have this reference set within arm's reach at their desk.

—Dennis M. Swanson, The Master’s Seminary Journal

The revised and expanded Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is certain to become the standard work of reference for patristics and the study of Late Antiquity. The range of subjects covered by the articles is astounding, including virtually everyone about whom anything at all is known, as well as geography, literary and legal culture, art and symbolism, architecture and liturgy. These articles, together with their extensive and up-to-date bibliographies, make the Encyclopedia the portal of choice to the world of Late Antiquity.

—Andrew Louth, Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University

  • Title: Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
  • General Editor: Angelo Di Berardino
  • Consulting Editors: Thomas C. Oden, Joel C. Elowsky, and James Hoover
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Volumes: 3
  • Pages: 2,951
  • Resource Type: Encyclopedias

Angelo Di Berardino is president and professor of patrology at the Augustinian Patristic Institute (Augustinianum) in Rome. He is the editor or author of magisterial works on the early church, including Encyclopedia of the Early Church (recently updated and expanded in Italian as Nuova dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiane and Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from the Council of Chalcedon to John of Damascus. He also serves as the Italian-language editor for the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. General Editor Thomas C. Oden,  formerly the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, is the general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. The author of numerous books, including a highly regarded three-volume systematic theology, he also serves as a general editor for Ancient Christian Texts and as director of the Center for Early African Christianity.


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  1. David Anfinrud
    I do disagree with some of the ideas in the Encylopedia but have seen some comments that I well disagree with the way they present the information. Yet in the Early Church many of those ideas may have been the norm. It is a good resource well worht adding if you are interested in the Historic and early church Fathers. And if you have a good set of books from the Early Church Fathers this is a good way to read the sections mentioned to verify what is being presented is what was actually written and nothing taken out of context.
  2. William A. Long


Digital list price: $899.99
Save $650.00 (72%)
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