Kilian McDonnell's career certainly has been stellar, however, from the perspective of a student of Eastern Christianity and Early Christianity, even those significant achievements of the past fall dim in the shadow of this magnificent contribution to our knowledge of both the baptism of Jesus and the formation of Trinitarian theology.
. . . this is a clear, concise, balanced, illuminating, and monumental work that is a "must" buy for libraries and those interested in the development of baptism and/or seeking to learn how the early Fathers preached and catechized the themes contained in Jesus' baptism in order to instill a greater participation in Christ's prophetic mission.
Here we are led in a lucid manner by a brilliant scholar into those symbolic, highly poetic, and deeply spiritual patristic writings of the Syrian East, a tradition in which Baptism as a pneumatic 'new birth' in the Jordan continues to play a central role. Indeed, this study is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the rich diversity and implications of early Christian theology.
The John Courtney Murray medalist has demonstrated once again the powerful link patristic writing is between the Bible and systematic theology. The Greek, Syrian, and Armenian probings of this biblical mystery that he lays bare are rich indeed.
Gerard S. Sloyan, Catholic University of America
Kilian McDonnell's demonstrated mastery of patristics has enabled him to write the most comprehensive theology of baptism I have come across in years of work on Christian initiation. . . . Must reading for anyone interested in the historical and theological setting of baptism in early Christianity.
Thomas M. Finn, Chancellor Professor of Religion, College of William and Mary