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Documents of the Christian Church [Paperback]

By Bettenson Henry (Contributor)
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Item Number 55930  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   496
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.78" Width: 5.12" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   0.73 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 16, 1999
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0192880713  
EAN  9780192880710  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Since its first publication in 1967, this collection of writings from the most important moments in the history of Christianity has established itself as a classic work. Now incorporating a wealth of new material, this new edition will be an essential reference source for anyone interested in the history of the Christian Church. While retaining the original material selected by Henry Bettenson, Chris Maunder has added a substantial section of more recent writings. These new entries illustrate the Second Vatican Council; the theologies of liberation; Church and State from 'Thatcher's Britain' to Communist Eastern Europe; Black, feminist, and ecological theology; ecumenism; and inter-faith dialogue. The emphasis on moral debate in the contemporary Churches is reflected in selections dealing with modern issues such as homosexuality, divorce, AIDS, and in-vitro fertilization. With the publication of this new edition, Documents of the Christian Church provides insights into the whole 2000 year of Christian theological and political debate.

Publishers Description
Since its first publication in 1967, this collection of writings from the most important moments in the history of Christianity has established itself as a classic work. Now incorporating a wealth of new material, this new edition will be an essential reference source for anyone interested in the history of the Christian Church.
While retaining the original material selected by Henry Bettenson, Chris Maunder has added a substantial section of more recent writings. These new entries illustrate the Second Vatican Council; the theologies of liberation; Church and State from 'Thatcher's Britain' to Communist Eastern Europe; Black, feminist, and ecological theology; ecumenism; and inter-faith dialogue. The emphasis on moral debate in the contemporary Churches is reflected in selections dealing with modern issues such as homosexuality, divorce, AIDS, and in-vitro fertilization. With the publication of this new edition, Documents of the Christian Church provides insights into the whole 2000 years of Christian theological and political debate.


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More About Bettenson Henry

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Chris Maunder is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University College of Ripon and York St John.


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Reference   [1851  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Books-Documents of the Christian Church  Jan 3, 2007
Just what I was looking for. It's a valuable resource.
 
detailed reference  Nov 3, 2006
This book is a good "topic reference" book. It is compiled of many original source writings. It is used in my seminary history class to supplement the main history text. A very good source for many topics.
 
Sometimes A Little Too Broad  Oct 30, 2005
This is a nice text covering a very broad range of writings. Some of the documents included are from Church councils, some from theologians, creeds, theological works, confessions, inter-faith dialogues, etc. Therefore, the reader gets a wide variety of readings and documents.

However, this `broadness' is also the weakness of this text. At times, it is a little too broad, including things that perhaps are not in the pale of orthodoxy. For instance, Feminist theological writings, the writings of Matthew Fox, certain writings on homosexuality, etc. seem to fall into this too `broadness' category. Albeit, these writings are interesting to read, and do add variety to the work, discernment is needed when reading them.

The overall idea of this work is great. To compile a historical collection of documents throughout Church history is a good idea, giving the reader a type of `one stop' place to get a taste of Christian History through documents. Moreover, the broad range allows the reader to get a small glimpse of what was taking place at the time of these works (e.g. understanding what issues and doctrines were a concern).

If you are interested in Church History, Church writings/documents, theology, apologetics, Christianity, then this is a great edition to add to your library. I recommend it!
 
Documents of the Christian Church  Oct 5, 2005
Book so far is a wealth of historical documents adding to my knowledge about the early Christian Church. I am barely into the book as it supplements my Education for Ministry course; this third part of the course being one year in length.
 
Original words  Sep 30, 2005
This is one of those standard books that ministers, historians, theologians, seminarians and graduate students in any number of disciplines related to the above should have as part of their libraries. The book's task is an ambitious one - to bring together in one volume the key documents of the church through two thousand years of history.

This book is not a simple collection of documents, but rather arranges them thematically and chronologically. Bettenson in the early editions put together the documents with an overarching essay in each section which helps set the context, the controversies, the personalities and the impact of the primary documents. Bettenson was prepared early for the charge of selectivity, as every enterprise of this sort must needs be selective. 'It is unlikely that any two persons could be found who should agree on what should be included in such a book and what omitted; nor would agreement more easily be found on the arrangement to be imposed on the material once selected.'

The first section deals with the early church up to the Fourth Ecumenical Council, setting definitions and key terms from which much of later Christianity either derives or rebels. During this period, there were also persecutions of the church and differing levels of tolerance and acceptance of Christians in parts of the empire. The one downside of this section is that it doesn't include pieces from traditions that vary from what became normative Christianity. It does include in some good detail the workings of church and state from the different philosophical and practical writings of the times.

The second major section is on Creeds; chronologically, this begins back in the period covered by the first section, but thematically presents itself well as a whole unit. The third section includes a few early references to gospel texts. Beginning with the fourth section and proceeding through to the tenth section, documents are arranged dealing with doctrinal issues arising from the early documents - Christology, Ecclesiology, the Nature of Humanity, the Nature of Sin - all of the major themes found in systematic theology are here present. Bettenson ends this part with a collection of Christian inscriptions.

The second major part traces Christian documentary history from the Chalcedon council to the present in essentially chronological order - the East/West split, the Holy Roman Empire, Monastic developments, the Concilliar Movement, Scholasticism, and the many elements of the Reformation (most of which get their own section, but there is a decided advantage to the English history). Some documents are decided obscure (the Bonn Agreement between Old Catholic and Anglican churches in 1931, and the Jansenist 'Five Propositions' being a few examples), whereas others are well-known (Luther's Ninety-Five Theses). The final sections of the later editions have expanded to include documentary examples of peace and justice forms of theological development - Feminist theology and women's ordination, Black theology, Liberation theology. It also includes various pieces on interfaith dialogue and relationship efforts of the past generation. These later sections are primarily the work of Chris Maunder, co-editor of the publication in its later editions.

This is an important collection to have handy. Quite often, histories, commentaries and theological works will reference these documents, but not print them in their entirety (or sometimes not even in part) on the assumption that such documents can be readily found elsewhere - an assumption that is true enough, but it is helpful for the student to actually have the book!

That this book has been through many editions speaks to its ongoing value and importance.
 

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