"Since its first appearance in 1983, From Nicaea to Chalcedon has been the best available introduction in English--for readers serious about patristic theology and early church history--to the crucially important personalities and theological works that dominated fourth- and fifth-century debate about Jesus' relationship to God and to us all. This new edition significantly expands and enriches that book and brings us face to face with the best of current scholarship on the period, yet it still retains the balance, breadth of scope, and critical good sense that has always made it so valuable. It is an indispensable guide for anyone wanting to get a clear view of the early development of classical Christian doctrine."
--Brian E. Daley, SJ.
Catherine F. Husking Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
"The original edition of Frances Young's From Nicaea to Chalcedon established itself immediately as the best introduction to the Greek patristic tradition in the golden age of the first four councils. It approached the fathers through their writings, and with conciseness and clarity it enabled students to read them with intelligence and understanding. This new edition surpasses the old, not only bringing it up to date after a quarter of a century of unprecedented scholarly activity, demonstrating an easy command of the shoal of new literature, but also introducing students to new approaches, some of which Prof. Young herself has pioneered. A new feature is a whole chapter devoted to ascetic writings, the 'literature of the desert.' This is an indispensable work, revealing new insights on every page."
Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University
"From Nicaea to Chalcedon has been a standard in the field for twenty-five years. In clear, elegant prose and with close attention to the original texts, this book opens a window for students into not only Young's own views of the figures she covers but also a wide range of relevant scholarly debates and controversies. This thorough updating constitutes a deep revision of the original, not just the addition of new bibliography. We are anew in Prof. Young's debt!"
Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, Durham University
"The original edition of From Nicaea to Chalcedon was a standard work on the most illuminating Greek writers of the fourth and early fifth centuries. This new edition deserves to assume that status also. Since so much of this period has been reconstructed and rewritten over the last thirty years, a patrological-style handbook as produced here is most welcome."
--D. H. Williams
Professor of Religion in Patristics and Historical Theology, Baylor University
Praise for the first edition:
"This is a wonderfully coherent and comprehensive book. . . . What gives richness and substance to [Young's] portrayal is the thoroughness with which she places each of these figures solidly within the context of their own era: ecclesial and imperial politics are discussed in detail; the tension between Christian and classical culture and philosophy is illuminated; the development of liturgy and catechesis, of preaching and exegesis, of monastic movements and forms of spirituality--all of these are described with sympathy and accuracy. . . . Each of the chapters is written with a remarkable grasp of the primary sources (from which she quotes liberally and appropriately) in conjunction with an equally remarkable familiarity with the numerous points at issue in modern patristic scholarship. Her assiduously prepared bibliographies . . . attest to this familiarity and will elicit from the student of this period an exclamation of gratitude. In addition to all this, Young's style is light and facile, often humorous. . . . It is a book I expect to read often and to refer to even more often. There is to my knowledge no better treatment of the subject."
--Donald F. Winslow
Anglican Theological Review
"The first 289 pages of text discuss the careers of nineteen theologians who played important roles in the Christological controversies of the fourth century. The remainder of the book consists of footnotes and two comprehensive bibliographies. . . . The footnotes and bibliographies make this book invaluable to patristic scholars and to all students of the history of Christian doctrine. Young's brief treatment of the nineteen protagonists is valuable because she incorporates much recent research and passes balanced judgments on many of the sources that she quotes. . . . The book is filled with stimulating suggestions."
--Herbert T. Mayer
"With wisdom, erudition, and occasional irony, Dr. Frances Young's From Nicaea to Chalcedon surveys a broad field. . . . The book represents a substantial achievement and deserves to be on every reader's shelves. The different writers are treated with genuine sympathy; for she does not regard the ancient controversies as hairsplitting but rather as concerned with authentic religious issues. She is at home both with the texts and with the modern literature about them. . . . The book well brings the reader up to date with the debate. This is a rich and enjoyable book."
"From Nicaea to Chalcedon is a series of five essays dealing with leading Greek theologians and churchmen of the period, describing enough of their lives and circumstances to give one an imaginative grasp of their thinking and writing as the work of men who really lived, felt, and cared. . . . The last chapter is a tour de force. Clearly and sympathetically, but with not a whiff of hagiography, sentimentality, or contempt, the various characters . . . are brought on to the stage, their concerns identified, and their arguments expounded. The reader is helped to understand why they variously thought that issues of faith were at stake, and why they cared so much as to argue and fight with such passion and, sometimes, ferocity. Here is a book to which students, who are trying for the first time to come to terms with issues of the christological controversy, can be directed with a reasonable hope that they will see not only that there was an argument, but that it was a real one, and that it still matters. All of this is based on a thorough knowledge, both wide and deep, of the relevant literature, ancient and modern, and it is expressed in good clear English. There are excellent notes, and two bibliographies. . . . This is a very good book."
"Conceived as a 'companion' to already existing histories of doctrine, this volume is a reference work on leading figures, their writings, and critical studies of them. It is somewhat like a patrology, but it is written in a more expansive style, and the author occasionally warms to various topics or figures and launches into full-scale essays in historical theology. The value of such a volume is to direct our attention to individual thinkers, so that we will consider the entire career and corpus of writings of this or that figure who usually appears only as one of the dramatis personae of a doctrinal debate."
"This is a book that will surely have a long and honorable life. It is a highly competent survey of the most densely packed period doctrinally in the patristic church (and rivaled only by the sixteenth century in the whole of Christian history) and so an extremely useful student resource. . . . Dr. Young's approach--to examine certain theologians around whom she clusters 'problems and presuppositions'--and her straightforward style make the book eminently readable. . . . The author controls an extensive body of secondary literature and presents positions on controverted topics fairly and clearly. . . . The bibliographies appended to the book are a service in themselves."
--Joanne McWilliam Dewart
"[Young] draws on a massive body of research so as to broaden the reader's understanding of the culture, history, and crucial issues of early Christianity. . . . This is truly an impressive work. It exhibits meticulous scholarship and a wide ranging mastery of the literature, all presented in very readable, even elegant, prose. . . . This work will undoubtedly become a standard in the library of Christian thought. Young's approach takes the early controversies out of the heat of partisan strife and places them into the more reasonable realm of dispassionate conversation."
--Carl A. Volz
Word & Word