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The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church


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Table of Contents

THEOLOGY; - the development of doctrines throughout the ages, with their philosophical background and the different traditions of the major Churches; - spirituality and heresy; - history of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation; PATRISTIC SCHOLARSHIP: Fathers of the Church, on whose work later theology is founded, are covered in detail, for example; - the Nag Hammadi papyri and their significance for our understanding of Gnosticism; - the problems of Marcarius of Egypt and Macarius/Simeon are explored; - the recently discovered sermons of Augustine are mentioned, with their places of publication listed; CHURCHES AND DENOMINATIONS; - the beliefs and structures of both the mainstream and lesser-known denominations such as Amish, Muggletonians, Shakers, and Wee Frees; - lengthy articles on the history of Christianity throughout the world, in countries such as Angola, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Spain, the United States, Vietnam, and Zaire; THE CHURCH CALENDAR AND ORGANIZATION; - feast and saints' days; - Sacraments; - church services, offices, rites, and practices; - canon law including Catholic revision; - councils and synods; - religious orders; THE BIBLE; - individual Biblical Books; - major figures from Abraham, Moses, and King David to St Paul and the Evangelists; - schools of Biblical criticism and entries on their chief exponents; BIOGRAPHICAL ENTRIES; - these are wide ranging and include saints, popes, patriarchs, and archbishops; - emperors, kings, and other rulers; - mystics, heretics, and reformers; - theologians and philosophers, with a summary of their opinions; - artists, poets, and musicians.

About the Author

E. A. Livingstone was involved in the first edition and assumed the editorship of the second on the death of F.L. Cross. She has been responsible for the organization of the International Conferences on Patristic Studies from 1971 to 1995 and has edited the proceedings. The late F.L. Cross was the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford from 1944 to 1968.


It will come as no surprise to those already familiar with earlier editions (1957, 1974) that the third edition of this title remains unrivaled as the authoritative one-volume dictionary of the Christian church, its doctrines and practices, and its most influential historical figures. In addition, the reader will find a host of entries pertaining to the Bible and its world. Because of the rise of theologies of liberation since the publication of the second edition, and because of a growing awareness of the need to heed Christian cultures often regarded as on the fringes of Christendom, many doctrinal articles have undergone revision and many have been added. Prominent Evangelicals have also been included (though, owing to this work's decidedly historical thrust, only rarely does the name of a living figure appear). Since the first edition, the need to involve a growing number of experts working in collaboration has been acknowledged, and those named in the editor's preface and in the list of contributors now exceeds 480. The bibliographies for many entries have been updated since the second edition. For future editions, the editors might consider using a standard Bible translation other than the Authorized Version, whose usage has declined sharply in recent decades. From a researcher's standpoint, one might also hope to see the names of contributors under each entry. Nevertheless, this is highly recommended for general libraries, especially those that serve the needs of informed lay readers or ecclesiastical researchers.‘Robert H. O'Connell, Denver, Col.

`Review from previous edition an indispensable, abundant, and readable book' The Times `this careful revision of an already indispensable instrument of study, designed by a dedicated scholar and faithfully executed in the same plan by his chief collaborator, deserves an unqualified welcome.' Times Literary Supplement `Has no peer as a one-volume encyclopedia.' The Review and Expositer

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