Along with Athanasius and Justin Martyr, Tertullian was one of the early church’s greatest theologians and apologists. In Apologetic and Practical Treatises, Tertullian provides an array of essays defending and explaining Christian practices, such as prayer, baptism, and repentance. Defending Christian abstention, other essays explain Christian perspectives on topics such as idolatry, Rome’s public shows, and other pagan practices. This volume also includes personal letters that bring further clarity to the challenges second-century Christians faced.
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Tertullian (AD 160–225) was the son of a Roman centurion from North Africa. He pursued an education in literature and rhetoric, and then practiced law before converting to Christianity around the year AD 197. Shortly after his conversion, Tertullian set himself to defending the Catholic faith against non-Christians and heretics, and is highly regarded among all Christian traditions today.