This reference tool, which covers the first through the seventh centuries of the history of the Church, has garnered serious recommendations from journals and names that might be familiar to you: Sobornost, Jaroslav Pelikan, Sewanee Theological Review, and a host of others. Vital statistics: 167 contributors (including David Aune, Paul Blowers, Walter Burghardt, James Charlesworth, Agnes Cunningham, Gordon Fee, W.H.C. Frend, Bruce Metzger, Boniface Ramsey, Theodore Stylianopoulis, and Robert Wilken) and 1245 entries -- signed entries with bibliographies. The references are not just to names and places, but include topics that require a small essay: for example, ''Taoism and Christianity'' or ''Education'' or ''Music.'' A book certainly for research, but also for pleasurable browsing.
An Eighth Day View:
What's new in the Second Edition:
-- Some 250 new entries -- 25% more than in the first edition.
-- Bibliographies are greatly expanded and updated throughout
-- More focus on biblical books and philosophical schools, their influence on early Christianity and their use by patristic writers
-- More information about the Jewish and pagan environment of early Christianity
-- Greatly enlarged coverage of the eastern expansion of the faith throughout Asia, including persons and literature
-- More extensive treatment of saints, monasticism, worship practices, and modern scholars
-- greater emphasis on social history and more theme articles
-- More illustrations, maps, and plans
-- Additional articles on geographical regions