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The Encyclopedia of Christianity, vols. 1-3

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The multiple award-winning Encyclopedia of Christianity, copublished by Eerdmans and Brill, is a monumental five-volume work presenting the history and current state of the Christian faith in its rich spiritual and theological diversity around the world. Based on the third, revised edition of the critically acclaimed German work Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon, this volume has rapidly become a standard reference work for the study of Christianity past and present. The English-language version includes new articles by American and British authors that address topics of interest to English speakers, and the original articles written in German have been translated and adapted for the audience.

This product includes the first three volumes covering A-O:

  • Volume 1 (A-D) - 932 pages; 465 articles; copyright 1998
  • Volume 2 (E-I) - 819 pages; 300+ articles; copyright 2000
  • Volume 3 (J-O) - 916 pages; 342 articles; copyright 2003

Describing Christianity in its global context, the Encyclopedia is a fully international work, with articles written by scholars from many countries and cultural backgrounds. Separate articles for every continent and for over 170 countries present both the history and the current situation of the Christian faith in all its rich spiritual and theological diversity around the world.

  • Editor's Choice from Reviews in Religion and Theology (1999; Volume 1)
  • American Library Association 2000 Outstanding Reference Sources
  • Resource Experts
    • Articles on all but the smallest countries of the world, including the former communist nations that have gained independence since 1989.
    • The latest statistical information from David B. Barrett on the religious affiliation and ecclesiastical breakdown of each country and continent.
    • Articles on doctrines, denominations, and social and ethical issues in relation to the churches.
    • Biographical articles on prominent figures through church history.

    Top Highlights

    “The English → Puritans, however, went as far as to abolish Christmas. In 1642 church services and civil celebrations were forbidden on December 25, and in 1647 Parliament ordered the abolition of Christmas and other holy days.” (Volume 1, Page 455)

    “In Spain and Gaul a season of preparation for Christmas called Advent developed.” (Volume 1, Page 455)

    “As the horizons of liberation theology expanded and became consolidated, liberation theologians drew criticism from clergy and theologians from Latin America, Europe, the United States, and most especially from the Vatican. The more prominent critics included Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo of Colombia, a former president of CELAM; Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; European theologians of the International Theological Commission, appointed by the Vatican; and U.S. theologians Michael Novak and James Gustafson. These and other opponents have attacked liberation theology on many fronts, including theological, ethical, social-scientific, and epistemological.” (Volume 3, Pages 261–262)

    “Millenarianism never gained acceptance by the whole church. When the → persecution of Christians ended in the fourth century, it ran into a crisis from which only spiritualizing and reinterpretation could save it. The Byzantine tradition largely robbed it of its edge by advancing the idea of a fulfilled prolongation of the existing state. In the West the solution of → Augustine (354–430) in City of God 20.7–9 became normative. He found in the thousand years an open period and related it to the history of the church viewed as the earthly → kingdom of God.” (Volume 3, Page 538)

    The appearance of the Encyclopedia of Christianity is a major publishing event.… Treatment of standard subjects in theology, Scripture, the history of Christianity, world religions, and contemporary ethics is superb

    —Mark A. Noll, Wheaton College

    In a time when serious theological education is often lacking, this great reference work, basic and detailed at the same time, is of immense help for the study of theology, for practical church work, and for general education.

    —Hans Küng, University of Tübingen

    Not only reliable but interesting — a rare feat for an encyclopedia. Its range is very broad; at the same time the articles maintain considerable depth.

    —Robert M. Grant, University of Chicago Divinity School

    An outstanding international collegium of editors, consultants, and contributors has brought together a vast amount of information in an accessible, readable form in the Encyclopedia of Christianity.

    —Thomas C. Oden

    Eerdmans and Brill have teamed up to produce a timely and ambitious Encyclopedia of Christianity (EC) that brings together theology and the social sciences in a fresh and accessible format.… The 1,700 articles of the EC will be a treasure trove of information on Christian thought and the current Christian sociocultural context in Protestant perspective. It is useful for beginning scholars, laity, non-Christians, as well as scholars.

    —Ellen T. Charry in Theology Today

    This monumental work based on the German Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon features many enhancements and additions of special value to English speaking users.… When the five-volume set is complete it will form a fresh and comprehensive reference package on Christianity past and present. The work combines quality scholarship with accessibility for the ordinary user.

    Anglican Journal (Canada)

    Articles cover a wide range of topics that will interest those studying Christianity, comparative religion, theology, and ethics.… Particularly helpful are articles on social movements (such as the civil rights movement): These, along with the statistical and cultural information, provide a cultural-critical emphasis instead of only disembodied ideas. The articles also cut across all branches of Christianity. Cross-references are easy to use, and the English translation is excellent. Should interest anyone who wants to emphasize both history and comparative religion when studying Christianity

    Religious Studies Review

    By all counts, EC looks to be the standard encyclopedia for some years to come…. It is a worthy investment for the serious theologian, because it will be the kind of resource that one will reach for first and often, both to explore new aspects of theology and to review old ones.

    Concordia Journal

    For students and scholars needing quick access to reliable information on all manner of Christian subjects, this is certainly the tool to have...

    Dialogue & Alliance

    Large and impressive volume.… The layout is clear and uncluttered with unobtrusive cross-references and systematic exposition using frequent subheadings. Overall, a Herculean work of synthesis...

    Journal of Religious History

    This first volume sets the standard for reference works of this kind….This is possibly the best encyclopedic reference on Christianity.

    Library Journal

    This comprehensive work, while scholarly, is intended for a wide audience and will set the standard for reference works on Christianity.

    American Libraries

    Broad, comprehensive, scholarly, and generally up to date...


    The quality of scholarship combined with the unique approach of providing global, ecumenical, sociocultural, and historical context makes this work an essential purchase.


    • Title: The Encyclopedia of Christianity
    • Author: Erwin Fahlbusch
    • Editors: Erwin Fahlbusch (editor), Jan Milic Lochman (editor), John Mbiti (editor), Jaroslav Pelikan (editor), Lukas Vischer (editor), Geoffrey W. Bromiley (English-language editor), David B. Barrett (statistical editor)
    • Volumes: 3
    • Resources: 1
    • Pages: 2,667
    • Publisher: Eerdmans and Brill
    • Publication Date: 1998-2003

    Jan Milic Lochman- (1922-2004) Retired as Rector of the University of Basel.

    John Mbiti- John A. Mackay Professor of World Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary.

    Jaroslav PelikanThe Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, he is the author of more than thirty books, including Jesus Through the Centuries. He has received the Jefferson Award of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government on a scholar of the humanities.

    Lukas Vischer- Professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at Evangelical Reformed Theological Faculty of Berne, Switzerland.

    Geoffrey W. Bromiley- Professor emeritus of Church History and Historical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is best known as the translator of numerous theological books, including the 9-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.

    David B. Barrett- Formerly an Anglican missionary in Africa, he is president of Global Evangelization Movement in Richmond, Virginia, and editor of the World Christian Encyclopedia.

    These sample entries from Volume 1 give a sense of the range of topics and quality of scholarship included in each volume.

    • James Barr Biblical Theology
    • Hans Dieter Betz Epistles to the Corinthians
    • Edith L. Blumhofer Assemblies of God
    • Geoffrey W. Bromiley Thomas Cranmer
    • James H. Cone Black Theology
    • Edwin S. Gaustad Baptists, Christian Church; Churches of Christ; Churches of God
    • Clifford Green Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
    • Paulos Mar Gregorios Coptic Orthodox Church
    • Norman A. Hjelm Christian Communication; Christian Publishing
    • Anastasios Kallis Anaphora; Christology
    • Bruce M. Metzger Bible Manuscripts and Editions
    • Ekkehard Mühlenberg Apologists; Christology; Docetism
    • Dietrich Ritschl Apostasy; Authority; Christology
    • Peter Stuhlmacher Atonement
    • Eugene TeSelle Augustine


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      Digital list price: $289.95
      Save $49.96 (17%)
      Payment plans available in cart