The Early Church: From The Beginnings To 461 William H.C. Frend

ISBN: 9780334003502

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The Early Church: From The Beginnings To 461  by  William H.C. Frend

The Early Church: From The Beginnings To 461 by William H.C. Frend
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I picked this up partially to flesh out in my head what Tolstoy was raging against within Christian orthodoxy. Turns out, the book is a bit exhaustive and probably aimed at anyone other than a lay history reader. Possibly this is the norm for ecclesiastical history, but someone pointed me in the direction of Foundations of Christianity which might suffice for my habits, particularly as I was a big fan of Engels commentary on Christianity.As I had expected, the church begins from humble beginnings, and as time goes on layers and filters are added until it begins to resemble something else entirely.

You have over-drawn debates on the nature of Jesus, the second coming, the role of the trinity/holy spirit- this happens alongside the impact of culture, politics and philosophy - all coinciding with the internal logic of organisations like the the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church.The book lacks the clarity I was hoping for. It moves along at a steady pace, right up until the Romans get involved in the decision making (what did the Romans ever do for us!) and then the multitude of schisms are then presented in a way that is neither engaging nor clear.

The first half of the book and the concluding chapter are easily the better and make for more interesting reading - unless you want to know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.



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