We offer two reasons you'll want this book: the vision represented by its honoree, Robert Louis Wilken, and the bright excellence of the essays themselves. Not only is Robert Wilken's contribution to the study of early Christianity pioneer in its social and intellectual approach (prime examples being The Christians as the Romans Saw Them
and John Chrysostom and the Jews
), but the whole of his work is infused with the ''eschatological vocation'' of the Church -- that is, its enduring presence as Christ already come to the world. The kingdom now. He mourns the religious academic's tendency to detach himself from his subject in the name of ''pure'' scholarship, as if religion has no place in the real progression of culture. As for the essays, you'll find few volumes with this sort of range. The collection divides nicely between ''Exegetical Themes'' and ''The Development of Patristic Exegesis,'' including treatments on Adam and Eve, Origen's homilies, Gregory of Nyssa on human evil, women and the image of God according to Chrysostom, Augustine on freedom, Cyril of Alexandria as educator, Gregory the Great on reading Scripture and Jerome's doctrine of propassio (for a sampling). And don't miss the ten page bibliography of Wilken's own endeavors. How's that?
An Eighth Day View:
This volume gathers fresh perspectives on important themes in the study of the Christian writers of the patristic period.
Dedicated to Robert Louis Wilken, one of today's foremost historians of early Christianity, these compelling studies investigate ways that the church fathers engaged the Bible theologically, devotionally, liturgically, ethically, and pastorally. The findings set forth here not only honor Wilken's influential contribution to the field but represent the state of the art in patristics scholarship.