Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Early Church History

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English Translations

Ebooks

Fathers of the Church series.  19xx to present.  This print series contains the writings of the major Church Fathers.  Many translations have been updated recently.  EBook versions of many can be accessed through the library catalog.

Print

Popular Patristics Series. The series includes translations on a wide range of subjects from the first millennium of the church.  Each volume has an introductory essay.

 Ancient Christian Writers.  This print series contains translations of major writings of the Church Fathers. 

Message of the Fathers of the Church.  This print series contains selections from the Church Fathers arranged in topical volumes with commentary.

Library Search.  Use the library search box to search across books and journal databases.

 

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

EBooks

Oxford Reference.  2019.  This online reference source searches multiple reference dictionaries

Online and print

New Catholic Encyclopedia.  2003.  Among the 12,000 entries in the encyclopedia are articles on theology, philosophy, history, literary figures, saints, musicians and more.
Reference BX841 .N44 2003

Print

Encyclopedia of the Early Church.  (Two Volumes) 1992.  Provides information on all topics concerning the first eight centuries of the Catholic Church.
Reference BX841 .N44 2003

Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.  (Two volumes) 1997.  Provides articles on the first seven centuries of Christianity.
Reference +BR162.2 .E53 1997

Dictionary of Early Christian Literature.  2000.  Presents the life and work of Christian authors up to the eighth century and an assessment of their lasting influence on the Christian tradition.
Reference BR66.5 .L4813 2000

A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs: A Reference Guide to More Than 700 Topics Discussed by the Early Church Fathers.  1998.  A compendium of quotations culled from the ten volume Ante-Nicene Fathers and arranged by subject for quick reference.
Reference BR66.5 .D53 1998

The Westminster Dictionary of New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Rhetoric.  2003.  Provides information on the various literary and rhetorical forms found in the New Testament and in the literature of the early Christian church.
Reference BS2312 .A86 2003

 

Introductions

Online

Wiley Companion to Patristics.  2015.  This volume is an introduction to patristic authors and their contributions to theology, spirituality, philosophy, ecclesiology, linguistics, hagiography, liturgics, homiletics, iconology, and other fields.

From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and Its Background. 2nd ed. 2010.  This book provides background material, an introduction to the characters involved in early church disputes, to the literary sources, and the critical questions which they pose.

Print

Patrology.  Quasten.  (Four Volumes) 1986.  This series provides an introduction to early Christian literature.
Reference BR67 .Q3 1986

The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies.  2008.  Provides an introduction to the academic study of early Christianity (c. 100-600 AD). It is thematically arranged to encompass history, literature, thought, practices, and material culture.
Reference BR121.3 .O99 2008

The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha.  2008.  Addresses issues and themes that arise in the study of early Christian apocryphal literature.  Part One consists of surveys of the main branches of apocryphal literature (gospels, acts, epistles, apocalypses, and related literature) and Part Two considers key issues that they raise.
Reference BR121.3 .O99 2008

Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from the Council of Chalcedon (451) to John of Damascus (750).  DiBerardino, Walford, and Quasten.  Instituto Patristico Augustinum.  2006.  Brings together the current status of scholarship on the writings of the Eastern Fathers in the period between the Council of Chalcedon and the death of John of Damascus.
Reference BR67 .Q33 2006

The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction.  2007.  Provides a summary of early Christian history which includes the doctrinal debates and development
Reference BR67 .D7613 2007

 

Journals and Databases

Library Search.  Use the library search box to search across books and journal databases.

JSTOR. JSTOR contains articles in humanities, arts, and social sciences. All articles are available full-text. JSTOR journals have a three- to five-year blackout period in which the most recent articles are not available.

Ebsco Databases.  Ebsco databases can be searched concurrently.

Academic Search Premier.  Provides full text for more than 4,600 journals.

ATLA Religion Database.  Contains over one million bibliographic citations to articles, essays, and book reviews. Also contains full-text access to many articles.

Find these Journals in Ebsco Databases:

Journal of Early Christian Studies.  Focuses on the study of Christianity in the context of late ancient societies and religions from C.E. 100-700.

Vigiliae Christianae.  Contains articles and short notes on early Christian literature written after the New Testament, as well as on Christian epigraphy and archaeology.

Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum/ Journal of Ancient Christianity. Aims at encouraging the dialogue between scholars of church history, history of religion, and classical antiquity

Journal of Ecclesiastical History.  Publishes original research articles, scholarly reviews, review articles, notes and documents relating to all aspects of the history of Christianity.

Print Only Journals

Studia Patristica.  The official publication of the Oxford International Conference on Patristic Studies.

 

Understanding Source Citations

Many times references to the works of the Church Fathers can be confusing, filled with abbreviations for common primary sources.  Below is a list of some of the most common abbreviations with their sources.

 

PL

Patrologiae cursus completes … Series Latina

PG

Patrologiae cursus completes … Series Graeca

PO

Patrologia Orientalis

ANF

Ante-Nicene Fathers

NPNF

Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers

FC

Fathers of the Church

ECF

Early Christian Fathers

SC

Sources Chrétiennes