Category Archives: Church History
Our ThM students have provided free access to many of the papers they have written over the last few years. If you haven’t had a chance to browse through those let us direct your attention here.
by Marc Cortez with Brian LePort
We asked Dr. Marc Cortez, our Academic Dean and an assistant professor of theology, to list five books on church history that he has read recently that he would recommend. Below is the annotated bibliography that he provided.
Jenkins argues that we need to understand the history of the oriental orthodox churches (i.e. the churches in the Middle East and Egypt) and appreciate the long history of the church in the east as well as the west. In doing so, he presents a story of a Christian church in the east that remains a vibrant presence until the 13th century, and retains a reduced, but still substantial, presence into the 20th century. Only in the most recent years has it been nearly suppressed entirely.
Hendrix, Scott H. (2004). Recultivating the Vineyard: The Reformation Agendas of Christianization. Louisville, Ky., Westminister John Knox.
This book helpfully argues that we need to understand the various movements surrounding the Reformation as attempts to “Christianize” Europe. In other words, the various reformers (Protestant and Catholic) felt that earlier efforts had ultimately failed to penetrate beneath the surface and create truly Christian societies. Each of the movements, then, presented a particular vision for how such a Christianization might be most effectively accomplished.
In this book, Oden calls for more serious reflection on the role that Africa played in shaping Christianity. He thinks further research will demonstrate that North African theologians and exegetes largely shaped the early church and that we should dispel the notion that the African churches were simply extensions of the Roman/Greek church. He hopes a renewed appreciation for this history help Africa realize that Christianity is a part of the African story and identity, not simply an imperialistic projection of European thoughts and ideas.
Quash, Ben and Michael Ward, eds. (2007). Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe. Peabody, Mass., Hendrickson.
This popular-level book presents a number of early heresies faced by the early church and how the church responded. The real focus of the book, however, is the contemporary church. The authors hope that by developing a better understanding of ancient heresy, the modern church will be better prepared to recognize, avoid, and respond to modern heresies.
Anatolios, Khaled (1998). Athanasius: The Coherence of His Thought. New York, Routledge.
This book is a very helpful discussion of the overall theology of this seminal Christian thinker. This book will need to be used in conjunction with another work that provides more of the historical and cultural context of Athanasius’ ideas. But, Anatolios does an outstanding job presenting Athanasius’ theology around the central theme of God’s immancence and transcendence with respect to creation.