The Early Church: An annotated Bibliography of Literature in English
is designed for students and interested laypersons, providing them with a non-technical, informed survey of recent scholarly debate on major topics important to an understanding of the early church. Divided into twenty-six chapters, each with an introductory essay of 2-3 pages, the bibliography contains abstracts of about one thousand books and major articles dealing with the church from the beginning of the second century roughly to the end of the sixth. Specific chapters deal with the development of the cannon, conversion and missions, persecution and martyrdom, monasticism, church office, church and state, creeds, orthodoxy and heresy, regional forms of Christianity, church and society, Constantine and the Christian empire, Christology, women, ethice, Gnosticism, Jewish-Christian relations, Roman society and empire, art and architecture, theology, worship and the liturgy, and patristic exegesis. More general chapters introduce the reader to the basic reference works, including dictionaries, atlases, serials, patristic texts and general histories. The entries are extensively cross-referenced, and user-friendly codes direct the reader to introductory works, survey articles, bibliographies, and collections of primary texts. Each abstract indicates the number of pages of bibliography, indexes, maps, charts, etc., and most abstracts are followed by a list of book reviews, enabling the user to gain access to a wider evaluation of the work in question. Almost forty pages of indexes (general and modern authors) complete the volume, making this a key tool for those interested in the early church.