The Church in Ancient Society provides a full and enjoyable narrative history of the first six centuries of the Christian church. Ancient Greek and Roman society had many gods and an addiction to astrology and divination. This introduction to the period traces the process by which Christianity changed this and so provided a foundation for the modern world; the teaching of Jesus created a lasting community, which grew even to command the allegiance of the Roman emperor. Henry Chadwick discusses Christianity in relation to how it appeared to both Jews and pagans, and how Christian doctrine and practice were shaped in relation to Greco-Roman culture and the Jewish matrix. Among the major figures Chadwick discusses are Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Constantine, Julian the Apostate, Basil of Caesarea, Ambrose of Milan, and Augustine.
Following a chronological approach, Henry Chadwick’s clearly exposits important texts and theological debates in their historical context in unrivalled detail. In particular, he examines theological and ecclesial texts in relation to the behavior and beliefs of people who attended churches and synagogues. Christians did not find agreement and unity easy and Chadwick displays a distinctive concern for the factors—theological, personal, and political—which caused division in the church and prevented reconciliation. The emperors, however, began to foster unity for political reasons and chose monotheism. Finally, the Church captured society.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
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“Many inscriptions in Asia Minor record non-Jewish monotheists, worshippers of ‘the most high god’.3” (Page 7)
“Like Origen, Arius did not see how an assertion of the divine presence in Christ the redeemer could be made by a monotheist without some qualification, viz. that the Son is subordinate to the Father from whom he derives his divinity.” (Page 197)
“Arius was convinced from the gospels that the temptations of Jesus were real; that is to say, as a fully human being, he might not have conquered them and was morally mutable, as a fully divine nature cannot be.” (Page 197)
“Secondly, their denial of Christ’s true humanity and of the actuality of his dying robbed martyrdom of its value” (Page 73)
“ but Irenaeus did not regard the epistle to the Hebrews as Pauline and canonical” (Page 104)
The book is a tour de force to which we will keep turning as an essential reference work.
—R.A. Markus, The Tablet