Angelo Di Berardino is past president and professor emeritus of patrology of the Augustinian Patristic Institute (Augustinianum) in Rome where he served for almost forty years. He is the editor or author of authoritative works on the early church, including Encyclopedia of the Early Church (recently updated and expanded in Italian as Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiane) and Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from the Council of Chalcedon to John of Damascus. He also serves as the Italian-language editor for the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and edited the fifth volume of the Ancient Christian Doctrine Series: We Believe in One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (IVP) and authored The Historical Atlas of Ancient Christianity (ICCS Press).
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Ancient Christianity: The Development of its Institutions and Practices is the fruit of Angelo Di Berardino’s forty years of study, teaching, and writing at the Augustinianum in Rome. In this volume, he offers an overview of the birth and development of Ancient Christianity’s institutions and practices in all their variety and diversity.
The volume retraces the first five centuries identifying how ecclesiastical institutions arose, developed, and were consolidated into their full maturity. It is a task fraught with difficulty because of the scarcity and fragmentary nature of the information preserved from different geographical regions and people who have inherited distinct traditions.
The chronological and geographical context of the evidence presents a challenge for historians looking to provide a more or less unified framework instead of an impressionistic pastiche.
Often authors cite a few texts and generalize them, offering a homogeneous but false vision. Insisting on the inclusion of regional and diverse sources, Di Berardino deftly demonstrates that Christianity, from its beginnings and throughout its whole history, has always been multi-faceted.
The culmination of decades of research, Ancient Christianity: The Development of Its Institutions and Practices will be an indispensable resource for years to come.
"This magnificent book displays Prof. Di Berardino's broad knowledge and his profound experience with ancient primary sources. It also reflects his lifelong career as a teacher. It is a treasure trove for scholars, students, and the interested general public, who are not specialists in these various fields but wish to gain a comprehensive insight into the development of ancient Christian civilization."
"Ancient Christianity: The Development of Its Institutions and Practices is a comprehensive and systematic manual, and without any real parallel in contemporary publishing, in any language. The book is recommended by the clarity of its exposition, by its knowledge of the problems posed by current research, by the use of a very rich international bibliography, by the number of its references to primary documentation of any kind, literary or epigraphic, theological or legal, by the strength and balance of its conclusions. The diffusion in English will give Angelo Di Berardino’s work to reach the large public he deserves in every country."