This 3-volume encyclopedia, produced by the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, comprises 3,220 entries by a team of 266 scholars from 26 countries, covering 8 centuries of the Christian church and addressing such topics as archaeology, art and architecture, biography, culture, doctrine, ecclesiology, geography, history, philosophy, and theology.
The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
- Unparalleled, comprehensive coverage of persons, places and ideas from ancient Christianity
- A-Z coverage from "Aaron (iconography)" to "Zosimus, pope"
- 3,220 articles by 266 contributors from 26 countries (and representing a variety of Christian traditions
- Chronological coverage extending from Christian origins to Bede (d. 735) in the West and John of Damascus (d. ca. 749) in the Greek East
- Detailed emphasis on the first 4 centuries of Christian history
- Extensive geographical coverage
- Updates and expands on previous Italian and English-language editions with the addition of more than 500 articles, including 30 articles exclusive to this new English-language edition
- Extensive cross-referencing for ease in exploring related articles
- Helpful bibliographies, including primary sources (texts, critical editions, translations) and key secondary sources (books and journal articles)
- Translated from Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichita cristiane (2006-2008), produced by the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, the world's foremost center for partristic studies, under the direction of Professor Angelo Di Berardino
- Updates and expands on Oxford/James Clarke Encyclopedia of the Early Church(1992)
The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
is packaged and sold only as a three-volume set.
Angelo Di Berardino is past president and current professor of patrology at the Augustinian Patristic Institute (Augustinianum) in Rome. He is the editor or author of authoritative works on the early church, including (recently updated and expanded in Italian as ) and He also serves as the Italian-language editor for the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.
Thomas C. Oden (19312016), was the general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and the Ancient Christian Doctrine series as well as the author of , a revision of his three-volume systematic theology. He was the director of the Center for Early African Christianity at Eastern University in Pennsylvania and he served as the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Oden was active in the Confessing Movement in America, particularly within the United Methodist Church and was president of The Institute for Classical Christian Studies. He suggested that Christians need to rely upon the wisdom of the historical Church, particularly the early Church, rather than on modern scholarship and theology and said his mission was "to begin to prepare the postmodern Christian community for its third millennium by returning again to the careful study and respectful following of the central tradition of classical Christianity."
The Rev. Dr. Joel C. Elowsky (PhD, Drew University) is associate professor of historical theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served as the operations manager for the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and has edited the two volumes on John's Gospel in that series. He is the volume editor for in the Ancient Christian Doctrine series and has edited volumes on Theodore of Mopsuestia and Cyril of Alexandria in the Ancient Christian Texts series.
Scholars and students will be delighted to know that this superb reference work has been thoroughly and successfully updated, while some earlier articles by key scholars have been retained but with updated bibliographies. The EAC offers comprehensive coverage of people, places and topics with brief minor articles and detailed major ones (e.g., Athanasius, baptism). This is a must-have for the institutional library as well as the researcher's personal collection.
-Joseph F. Kelly,
John Carroll University
If students of early Christianity were to have a new 'bible' it would undoubtedly be the EAC. For decades, the EAC's predecessors were invariably my first point of reference for authoritative articles on all aspects of early Christian personalities, writings, beliefs and practices. The newly revised and expanded Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, providing a most welcome English version of the latest Italian edition plus thirty completely new entries, is already my constant new scholarly companion.
Phillips Theological Seminary
This is a translation and updating of a classic and exhaustive work of reference produced by the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome. Now expanded by more than a third, it has no equivalent in English and in its revised form will remain a trusted starting place as the field of early Christianity continues to expand.
-Iain R. Torrance,
Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen
The three-volume Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is an extraordinary achievement, with more than one-third more articles than the earlier Encyclopedia of the Early Church and thirty more articles than the Italian original. The distinctive strengths of the new Encyclopedia are numerous articles on persons, individual entries on apocryphal works and pieces on many topics from Christian archaeology. With more than thirty-two hundred articles, the Encyclopedia is a unique work of reference, essential for all scholars concerned with ancient Christianity. This splendid book will soon establish itself as the standard resource for essential information and up-to-date bibliographies in its area.
-Fr. Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J.,
This new publication of the classic Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, with significant revisions, updating and new material, is a major event in the scholarly study of the early church in the English-speaking world. The time is long past when patristics/matristics could be ignored by anyone seriously interested in the Bible, ecumenism or any branch of the theological disciplines. This book is an essential tool for all who pursue such work.
Dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University
A venerable reference work just got even better. This second English-language edition of the Augustinianum's indispensable Dizionario patristico offers considerably expanded coverage and updated bibliographies. No less important, its newly written articles capture the exciting changes that have revolutionized the study of ancient Christianity in the two decades since the first edition appeared. It is destined for a place on the shelves of every student and scholar interested in the texts, society and history of this transformational period.
University of Missouri
Those who open the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity will discover that they have happened upon a treasure trove. Rich with the introductory material most useful to the beginning student of Christianity's first eight hundred years, the articles also include insights that advise the specialist and divulge the expertise of their authors. For those seeking an orientation to the complexity of thought, practice, events and social issues of early Christianity, this Encyclopedia is now the most thorough and current source.
-D. Jeffrey Bingham,
That the most comprehensive and informative dictionary of patristics and Christian antiquity will now be available to the English-speaking public is truly epic and a major contribution to students and professionals. No other dictionary remotely competes with the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity for the quality of its scholarship and the breadth of its entries. The English translation of this magnificent dictionary will be a necessity for every theological school or seminary. Thank you, InterVarsity Press, for this wonderful effort!
-William C. Weinrich,
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana
For two decades, the Encyclopedia of the Early Church has been a most valuable vademecum for scholars, students, teachers and preachers. The good news is that now it's even better, with five hundred new articles and fresh research, in this splendid new Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity. A sure guide to spiritual, moral and theological challenges of today is the wisdom of the past, and here we have it in a most attractive and helpful volume.
-Timothy Cardinal Dolan,
Archbishop of New York
The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is a major milestone in patristic research and an indispensable tool for all serious scholars of Christian Antiquity in the twenty-first century. IVP has put us all in its debt by bringing out the English version of Di Berardino's magisterial Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiane (2006-2008). The 1992 English version of the first edition (1983) soon proved itself to be one of the most important reference works for scholars of early Christianity. The updating of the Italian original expanded the coverage of the dictionary by more than 35 percent and greatly widened its philosophical and methodological premises. Now with more than three thousand articles covering the period from the Apostolic Fathers to the eighth century, and with an expanded sense of the multinationalism of the early church, this breathtaking new edition has no rival. It will be a required volume in all significant libraries, and ought to have a prominent place of honor in all presbyteries and seminaries, as well as on the bookshelves of all those seriously interested in what the early church achieved, both intellectually and institutionally.
-V. Revd. Prof. John A. McGuckin,
Columbia University, New York
This is really a work of Mediterranean origin, grown organically from the previous fine stock in ever-rich soil and now adapted for export under expert guidance. The authors are to be congratulated for a work of catholic character. There is an impressive balance between places, people, events, movements and doctrines. Some of the newly commissioned articles (on subjects like 'Death' and with a feeling for 'fringe' movements and places) make it as comprehensive as one could get. A boon for those operating at all levels of scholarship.
-Mark W. Elliott,
School of Divinity, University of St Andrews
It is a huge blessing to have available in English what is probably the best current reference work on early Christianity. The range of coverage is exceptionally good and the bulk of the entries represent the most solid contemporary scholarship. It is an invaluable instrument of study.
Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
Anyone who has ever used Di Berardino's well-known Encyclopedia will be extremely grateful for this considerably expanded and updated English translation of the second edition of the Italian original. An admirably wide and authoritative coverage of authors and places, archaeology, iconography and liturgy are also well represented, making this Encyclopedia a truly superb resource.
University of Oxford
The greatly expanded Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity provides a comprehensive, up-to-date presentation of the life and thought of the early church. Its impressive scholarship opens the first centuries of Christian life to fruitful examination and appreciation. It is a welcome and indispensable resource for all who wish to grow in knowledge of the foundational period of Christianity.
-Donald Cardinal Wuerl,
Archbishop of Washington
Words fail me for celebrating the fullness and excellence of this unique pioneer compendium, which brings together just about everything that is known about the first eight Christian centuries. A must-have for libraries, it will prove an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike. All praise to IVP for making it available to us English readers who could not handle the original Italian.
-J. I. Packer,
"The most thorough and extensive collection of information on the early church available. . . . Recommended for theological, academic, and large public libraries."
"This three-volume set edited by Di Berardino and a team of consulting editors offers a comprehensive alphabetical listing of people, places and concepts important to the Christian Church's first eight centuries. . . . The list of contributors, most of them from one of several prestigious European universities, assures the reader that the content is authoritative and thoughtfully considered. . . . Recommended for scholars, this encyclopedia set, with its academic and precise content, is aimed at those whose interest in ancient Christianity is beyond general."
"This is a translation and updating of a classic and exhaustive work of reference produced by the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome. Now expanded by more than a third, it has no equivalent in English and in its revised form will remain a trusted starting place as the field of early Christianity continues to expand."
"Given this resource's breadth of coverage and caliber of scholarship, its value cannot be overstatedeven more so because scholarly interest in this period is currently expanding. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."
"If students of early Christianity were to have a new 'bible' it would undoubtedly be the EAC. For decades, the EAC's predecessors were invariably my first point of reference for authoritative articles on all aspects of early Christian personalities, writings, beliefs and practices. The newly revised and expanded Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, providing a most welcome English version of the latest Italian edition plus thirty completely new entries, is already my constant new scholarly companion."
"Scholars and students will be delighted to know that this superb reference work has been thoroughly and successfully updated, while some earlier articles by key scholars have been retained but with updated bibliographies. The EAC offers comprehensive coverage of people, places and topics with brief minor articles and detailed major ones (e.g., Athanasius, baptism). This is a must-have for the institutional library as well as the researcher's personal collection."
"As someone who teaches the history of Christianity, including courses on early Christianity, this is a major reference work that every theological or research library should own."
"This encyclopedia is an unparalleled collection for anyone working in this period and is highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries."
"The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, edited by Angelo Di Berardino, Tom Oden, Joel Elowsky, and James Hoover (IVP, 2014) is an awesome work that libraries should have. Its 3,000 plus articles about the first seven centuries of Christianity show the breadth of the faith as it grew in Asia, Europe, and North Africa, and its depth: We can learn about depictions of Aaron and Abaddon, study how early Christians dealt with abandoned children and abortion, find out basic information about Abibus Dolichenus and other little-remembered early bishopsand I've only gone through AB in the first of three volumes that total close to 3,000 pages. I hope the Encyclopedia is available in heaven."
"The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is highly recommended as a front line source for information on all aspects of the early church. . . . It is a must for any seminary, training school, or other educational institution. Those specializing in church history will want to have this reference set within arm's reach at their desk."