Documents of the Christian Church /

This selection of writings vividly captures the most important moments in the history of Christianity, providing insights into 200 years of Christian theological and political debate. While retaining the original material selected by Henry Bettenson, Chris Maunder has added a substantial section of...

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Other Authors: Bettenson, Henry Scowcroft., Maunder, Chris.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
Edition: 4th ed.
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Review by Choice Review

Originally published in 1943, The Documents of the Christian Church has become a standard work for church historians and informed lay readers. Bettenson edited the first and second editions, and after his death Maunder (York St. John University, UK) revised the third and fourth editions. The first three editions provide readers with a trove of writings from early noncanonical writers, the early Church Councils, and the Protestant Reformation, along with documents from the Counter-Reformation and the Second Vatican Council. The fourth edition adds 70 pages of writings from the 21st century. Although many of these selections are worthwhile, this reviewer does not consider them as significant as those documents included in the first three editions. The nearly 60 new additions cover, among other topics, issues as diverse as social justice, domestic and child abuse, addiction, climate change, genetic engineering, and the Christian mission. Perhaps time will prove the fourth edition's selections worthy of historical significance, but at present they do not seem to merit company with the documents that grace the earlier editions of this classic. Summing Up: Optional. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. W. J. Pankey William Rainey Harper College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.