Beginning to Read the Fathers is an introduction to the Church's earliest writers, preachers and theologians. It presupposes no more knowledge on the part of the reader than that the Fathers existed and that their ideas might be important and perhaps even interesting. The book does not restrict itself to such topics as Christology and ecclesiology but includes other areas, like martyrdom and prayer, which were highly important in shaping the mind and heart of the early Church.
The material in this book is arranged thematically and follows a natural progression. Each chapter attempts to give a real taste of the subject in question by providing numerous selections from the writings of the Fathers, some of them classic statements and some relatively obscure. Fathers from nearly all periods and traditions are cited. The author's opinions, although not nonexistent, are subordinate to the presentation of the Fathers themselves. The work was written in a non-technical style to be read both by beginners and by people with some expertise in the field. It concludes with suggestions for a patristics reading program for those who wish to pursue a study of the Fathers in more depth.
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