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Patristics / Patrology -- The Early Church Fathers & Their Writings: Theology

Grounded in the teachings and passion of Jesus Christ, early Christian theologians studied Jewish thought, Greek philosophy, and Greek and Latin vocabulary in their endeavor to explain complex Christian theological concepts.


Major focuses for these theologians during the period are in chronological order: Christianity's relationship with Judaism; the establishment of the New Testament Canon; Apologetics ('defense' or 'explanation' of Christianity); and doctrinal discussions that sought to achieve consistency of faith, in particular within the Christianized Roman Empire. Following the scholar of Christianity Alistair McGrath (1998), several major areas of theology can be seen to have developed during the Patristic Period: the extent of the New Testament Canon, the role of tradition, the fixing of the ecumenical creeds, the Two Natures of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Church, and the doctrine of Divine grace. [from Alistair McGrath’s  Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Chapter 1: “The Patristic Period."]

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