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Encyclopedia of early Christianity /

Other Authors: Ferguson, Everett, 1933-, McHugh, Michael P., Norris, Frederick W., 1941-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Garland Pub., 1997
Edition: 2nd ed.
Series: Garland reference library of the humanities ; v. 1839
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Review by Choice Review

The first edition (CH, Sep'90) of this useful resource has been revised and enlarged in important ways. Early Christianity is defined chronologically from the time of Jesus to the seventh century, but that limit has been extended in this second edition to allow increased coverage of Eastern Christianity. The work still focuses on persons, places, doctrines, practices, art, liturgy, heresies, and schisms. Information is presented thoroughly but in a way that enables it to be understood by nonexperts. The signed entries (increased from 997 to 1,245) are arranged alphabetically and still range from a few lines to three or four pages (most occupy about a page). Subject entries begin with a brief identification to the topic, present any antecedents to give historical perspective, then give a chronological or topical presentation. Entries for persons cover their life, writings, importance, and influence on early Christianity. The bibliographies that accompany most entries include works in several languages and consist of patristic citations, translations, and studies, and have been updated for this edition. A 123-item list of abbreviations for journals, reference works, and series begins the work. The list of international and ecumenically representative contributors has grown from 135 to 167. A three-page chronology lists items from the birth of Jesus (4 BCE) to the Council of Nicaea II (787 CD). The index for both volumes is at the end of volume 2 and has page numbers for main entries in boldface. Recommended especially for libraries serving graduate and undergraduate students of early Christianity and for other libraries needing a good, up-to-date reference work on this subject. D. Bourquin; California State University, San Bernardino

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

The first edition of this work, covering the period from the birth of Jesus to the seventh century, was published in 1990 [RBB Ag 90]. Now a second edition, adding 250 entries, is available. New to this edition are articles such as Adultery, Antichrist, Circumcision, Confucianism and Christianity, Cyprus, Ecclesiastes, Suicide, Wealth, and Weddings. Many of the additions reflect more emphasis on the influence of biblical books and Greek philosophers and on the eastern expansion of Christianity. There is also expanded coverage of saints, monasticism, worship, and modern scholars. Although many entries are textually unchanged, the bibliographies have been extensively updated, often to 1995 or 1996. The addition of lists of bishops to entries such as Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem (and the Orthodox patriarchs of Constantinople); the addition of a plan of Jerusalem and a photograph of the domes and bell tower of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Jersusalem); and a map of ancient Corinth are examples of this edition's enhanced reference value. The prefatory general bibliography and chronology and the index also reflect revision. Most of the topics treated in the encyclopedia can also be found in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford, 1997). Smaller libraries may find that the Oxford title's broader scope makes it more suitable for their collections, especially since the third edition is now available. The second edition of Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, like the first, will be useful for general readers, students, and scholars^-the clientele of large public, academic, and theological libraries.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

This single-volume encyclopedia contains 977 articles by 135 qualified scholars of various academic and ecumenical backgrounds, with coverage extending from New Testament times to approximately 600 A.D. Entries cover persons, places, doctrines, and practices and include some articles on modern scholars important to the study of early Christianity. The entries vary in length, but each begins with a brief definition, or identification, followed by chronological or topical development. Excellent short bibliographies following each article give patristic citations, editions, translations, and studies. The articles avoid technical language and provide good basic summaries of the material. This work will be useful for teachers, scholars, and students as well as for reference work. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-- C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, Ind. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.