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Bishop Lists: Formation of Apostolic Succession of Bishops in Ecclesiastical Crises (Gorgias Dissertations, 16) [Hardcover]

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Item Number 398404  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.23 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Gorgias Press LLC
ISBN  1593331940  
EAN  9781593331948  


Availability  65 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 18, 2017 08:23.
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Item Description...
The five appearances of bishop lists in the early church mark the principal points at which apostolic succession of bishops emerged and developed into a crucial and well defined doctrine. Walter Bauer long ago termed these lists, legitimately if not charitably, oliterary propaganda.o This study delves into the political struggles surrounding the lists and the doctrine they served to define. The ancient Mediterranean world established legitimacy of authority in social institutions, whether Roman, Greek, Jewish, or Christian, by citing successions of leaders. In early catholic churches, apostolic succession was the linchpin in the three opillarso of tradition, succession, and canon. It guaranteed the first and assured interpretation of the third. A social history approach reveals political intrigue at every point of the development of the doctrine of apostolic succession. In crises of the first century, the New Testament recorded (monepiscopal?) bishops and succession, and Ignatius and 1 Clement make monepiscopacy and apostolic succession explicit. In the second and third centuries, writers employed episcopal successions in reaction to subsequent struggles with heresy and schism. By the fourth century, Eusebius employed succession lists for apologetic and edification. Ecclesiastical politics in each case reflects the threat to the bishopAEs authority and clarifies the meaning of apostolic succession in the ChurchAEs development. This social history approach, examining the function of the literature within its historical circumstances, reveals how theology developed from politics. The development is as gripping politically as it is illuminating theologically. Robert Lee Williams is Professor of Biblical Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has written a number of articles focused on New Testament and patristic topics from the vantage point of social-scientific methodology. Accordingly, Williams has been active in the SBL Social World of Early Christianity, the North American Patristics Society, the International Conference on Patristic Studies, and the Seminar on the Development of Early Catholic Christianity, and the American Society of Church History. Bishop Lists: Formation of Apostolic Succession of Bishops in Ecclesiastical Crises is a revision of his doctoral dissertation in New Testament and Early Christian Literature completed under Robert M. Grant at the University of Chicago.



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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership   [871  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [4109  similar products]



Reviews - What do our customers think?
Human and divine agency  Aug 12, 2007

It is nothing new to learn that the "the ancient Mediterranean world established legitimacy of authority in social institutions, whether Roman, Greek, Jewish, or Christian, by citing successions of leaders. In early Catholic churches, apostolic succession was the linchpin in the three `pillars' of tradition, succession, and canon. It guaranteed the first and assured interpretation of the third." Without becoming completely cynical about the origin, function and impact of authority structures in the early Church, e.g. Bart Ehrman, the author clearly presents the very human side to the struggle to define and maintain sound doctrine via apostolic succession as it developed from the late first through mid-fourth centuries during times of doctrinal crisis (of which there were many).

The author seeks to show, successfully in my view, the role that literature/lists played in their unique contexts. Although he may be a tad too "Bauerian" for my tastes, any student of apostolic succession and the development or maintenance of ecclesiastical authority needs to at least read this book, if not own it, not so much for the thesis as much for the organization of primary texts.

What I find interesting here is that people of faith or no faith can look at the same material and come to radically different conclusions, hinging on the question "but is any of it really true, all this doctrine stuff?" If it is false, then the whole thing looks rather petty and stupid. If it is true, then it takes on monumental significance. But what is critical to remember is that it all depends upon what you are bringing to the texts, not the texts themselves.


Table of contents

Preface
Introduction
Literary Background: Apologetic in the Hellenistic World
Greek and Roman Successions
Jewish Successions
Formative Crises: Bishop and Succession in Earliest Christianity
New Testament
Ignatius and 1 Clement
Stage 1: Anti-heretical Uses
Hegesippus
Irenaeus
Stage 2: Anti-Schismatic Uses
Julius Africanus
Hippolytus
Stage 3: Apologetic and Encouragement
Eusebius 1. The Chronicle
Eusebius 2. The Ecclesiastical History
Conclusion

You may also find the following useful: Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers (Penguin Classics), Apostolic Succession in an Ecumenical Context, Apostolic Succession, Apostolic Succession: In the Writings of Yves Congar and Oscar Cullmann (Andrews University Seminary Doctoral Dissertation Series, Volume 20), Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries, By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition, Evangelicals and Tradition: The Formative Influence of the Early Church (Evangelical Ressourcement: Ancient Sources for the Churchs Future) and Teaching Authority in the Early Church (Message of the Fathers of the Church).

Enjoy!
 

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