Shapers of Early Christianity

52 Biographies, A.D. 100–400

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About the Book

In 100 A.D., Christianity was practiced only by a small, oppressed minority. Three hundred years later, Christianity had become one of the world’s major religions. But this change did not happen easily. The imperial government of Rome, intellectual tradition and battles within the church itself influenced the transformation. Every viewpoint had its champions and opponents and whether they were “defenders of the faith” or those whom history later labeled heretics, they were part of the early evolution of Christianity. This volume discusses more than 50 figures who played a role in the transformation from primitive Christianity to early Medieval Catholicism. As it examines the lives and influence of imperial rulers such as Constantine, proponents of the intellectual tradition including Gregory of Neocaesaria and Julius Africanus, and early Bible translators such as Tatian, Origen and Jerome, the work provides a fascinating look at Christian history.

About the Author(s)

Roland H. Worth, Jr., is the author of many books. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Roland H. Worth, Jr.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 201
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2007]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6942-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8228-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. SECOND CENTURY CHRISTIANITY
The “Apostolic Fathers” Context      7
Clement of Rome      8
Second Clement      10
Ignatius of Antioch      12
Justin Martyr      15
Hermas      18
Papias      22
Polycarp      23
Melito      27
Bishop Victor of Rome      30
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons      32
Perpetua and Felicity      34
Clement of Alexandria      37

2. FAITH AND IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT
Constantine the Great      40
Flavius Julius Constantius      47
Julian the Apostate      49
Thundering Legion      53
Pammachius      54

3. THE CHRISTIAN INTELLECTUAL TRADITION
Julius Africanus      58
Gregory of Neocaesarea      60
Eusebius of Caesarea      62
Faltonia Proba      66
Firmicus Maternus      67
Aurelius Clemens Prudentius      69
Ephraem      71
Epiphanius of Salamis      72

4. BIBLICAL TRANSLATORS AND TEXTUAL SCHOLARS
Tatian      75
Origen      79
Ulfilas      84
Jerome      87

5. DEFENDERS OF ORTHODOXY
Cyprian of Carthage      92
Athanasius      97
Gregory of Nazianzus      103
Basil the Great      105
Ambrose      107
John Chrysostom      111
Hilary of Poitiers      113
Augustine of Hippo      114

6. PROPONENTS OF “HERETICAL” ALTERNATIVES
Marcion      121
Tertullian      125
Valentinus      128
Felicissimus      131
Arius      133
Montanus, Maximilla, and Priscilla      138
Donatus      143
Jovinianus      145
Bonosus      147

7. ALTERNATIVE ROUTES TO HOLINESS
Antony      149
Pachomius      154
Marcellina      158
Paula      160

Chapter Notes      165
Bibliography      181
Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“Roland H. Worth, Jr. has provided a succinct overview of the first full three centuries of Christianity…[Worth’s] approach is refreshing and commendable…his biographical format sets his book apart from the more conventional, and often dry, narrative histories…should appeal to many…this book should find a readership in academic and public libraries”—Against the Grain