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The Church Fathers: From Clement of Rome to Augustine [Hardcover]

Pope Benedict XVI
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2008
Following his best selling book, Jesus of Nazareth, and his talks published in Jesus, the Apostles, and the Early Church, Pope Benedict's Church Fathers presents these important figures of early Christianity in all their evangelical vitality, spiritual profundity, and uncompromising love of God. Benedict tells the true story of Christianity's against-all-odds triumph in the face of fierce pagan Roman hostility and persecution. He does this by exploring the lives and the ideas of the early Christian writers, pastors, and martyrs, the men so important to the spread of Christianity that history knows them as "the Fathers of the Church".

This rich and engrossing survey of the early Church includes those churchmen who immediately succeeded the Apostles, the "Apostolic Fathers": Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus of Lyon. Benedict also discusses such great Christian figures as Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian of Carthage, the Cappadocian Fathers, as well as the giants John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, Leo the Great, and Benedict of Nursia, the Pope's namesake. This book is a wonderful way to get to know the Church Fathers and the tremendous spiritually rich patrimony they have bequeathed to us.

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The Church Fathers: From Clement of Rome to Augustine + Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration + Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Inspiring Feb. 8 2013
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER
Christian Church has been blessed with a long and noble history, filled with thoughtful and heroic witness of many courageous and saintly individuals. Unfortunately, many of those figures have not been prominently studied and reflected upon in recent years, and even centuries. This is particularly the case with the early Church fathers - the saints and martyrs who have built the Church and the orthodox Christian faith that we partake in today.

This book is made out of lectures given by the Pope Benedict over the course of several months. Each one of the Church Fathers is represented with one or two lectures, devoted to his life and the most significant theological teachings. We are taken into the world of early Christianity and various challenges and struggles - both physical and theological - that the early Christian community faced. This book is a useful reminder that the orthodox Christian faith has been shaped and elucidated by many thoughtful and courageous individuals who oftentimes faced very serious and harmful persecution. The book ends, unsurprisingly, with five lectures dedicated to St. Augustine. Pope Benedict is well known to be particularly fond of this great saint and theologian, and his own writings are deeply imbued with Augustinian thought and sensibility.

Aside from the obvious historical and theological value, this slender tome is of particular relevance for the Christians in the modern world. We live in the age that is increasingly hostile to the Christian thought and ethics, and it can be tempting to give in to despair or adopt a siege mentality and withdraw from the world entirely.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pope Benedict XVI, Church Fathers Oct. 19 2010
By aquinas
This is best bought by those who are unfamiliar with the Church Fathers as a whole. It does not go into detail: for example, nothing is said about St John Chrysostom's dim view of Jews.

What is written is, so far as I can tell, accurate. If you don't know much about the Church Fathers, this is a good scene-setter, acquainting you with some Church Fathers you may not already know.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fathers know best Dec 10 2008
By Rich Leonardi - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ignatius Press' collection of the Holy Father's Wednesday audience addresses on the Church Fathers is a must-have for anyone interested in early Church history. Picking up where he left off with the Apostles, Pope Benedict spent 2007 and 2008 explaining the role of these early leaders in resolving doctrinal controversies and shepherding their flocks. For instance, the lead address explains how Pope St. Clement, the third successor to the papacy who reigned at the end of the first century, spoke with authority to the church in Corinth. Thus early on in the life the Church, the Bishop of Rome exercised primacy over neighboring communities. These brief biographical sketches also offer critical lessons for today. We learn that according to St. Ambrose, a mentor to St. Augustine, "catechesis is inseparable from witness of life." In other words, those who are charged with teaching the faith must practice what they preach. It is worth pointing out what an elegant, well-made book Ignatius Press has produced. The hardcover edition features a tightly bound spine, quality paper, and an attractive dust-jacket design. Even at the $15 list price, this book is a bargain.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Father Communicates. Dec 17 2009
By Jerome S. - Published on
This is a great book for those who want a synthesized version of the early Church fathers. Even after having read some of the old, "original" writing of these great giants of the early, Catholic church, I found this offering a quality insight into who they were and how they have become pillars of the Church. The chapters are short but Pope Benedict gives you enough of the important information that should serve your need for knowledge and might provoke you into looking a little deeper. I don't have to encourage you if you are already considering this book as you probably already have your act together. I find the Holy Father an excellent communicator and this book is another in this series that is well written and instructive while not being a bore!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Church Fathers by Pope Benedict XVI April 18 2009
By Robert L. Tuzik - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pope Benedict XVI has recently published an excellent book on The Church Fathers: From Clement of Rome to Augustine. If you want to know why the early Fathers of the Church are so important to Christianity, then please read this book. Pope Benedict presents in a concise and user-friendly way the insights of these early theologians and portrays the vibrancy of the life of the early Church. I recommend this book as a good introduction to some of the most famous writings from the early days of the Church's life.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Father, the Teacher Oct. 26 2009
By Grace M. Alvarez - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Once again Pope Benedict XVI presents us with a close-up look at the Church Fathers. His insight into their contributions to the Church and Christianity in general gives the reader a better under-standing of what is behind Church teaching and how the process came about.
Excellent reading. I recommend it.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, as always Feb. 13 2009
By DAV - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As with all of Pope Benedict's writings, he presents his subject in a scholarly, but clear and very readable fashion. This book is very helpful for those wanting a basic understanding of these Church Fathers.
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