Voices of Early Christianity
Documents from the Origins of Christianity
by Kevin W. Kaatz, Editor
February 2013, 277pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-952-3
$115, £89, 100€, A158
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-953-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Wedded priests … the ritual of circumcision … women as religious leaders. These topics elicit strong feelings and opinions within the modern Christian world. Ironically, early followers of the faith struggled with these very same issues. Examining and understanding the perspectives of early Christianity can provide new insights into the challenges that believers continue to face today.

This fascinating resource examines the day-to-day lives of early Christians—as depicted through documented accounts of the period—from the beginning of Christianity through 325 CE.

Early Christianity drew its doctrine from a variety of sources—personal interpretation, Hebrew scriptures, and church council—yet the core ideology endured, even as the religion transitioned from being the object of persecution to becoming a legal institution in the Roman Empire. This book celebrates the voices that helped create and develop Christianity during that period.

Voices of Early Christianity: Documents from the Origins of Christianity is a collection of excerpts from significant documents from early Christian history, organized topically, then listed chronologically within each section. The author compares textual variations among the works of the apostles, as well as key themes over time, and frames the discussion for further critical thinking. Topics include sexuality, marriage, and divorce; food issues; women in early Christianity; and politics and Christianity.

Features

  • Visual aids, including wall paintings from the Christian catacombs and pictures of Roman architecture
  • A detailed chronology of early Christianity from the faith's beginning through 325 CE
Kevin W. Kaatz, PhD, is lecturer at California State University, East Bay Campus, Hayward, CA. His published works include Praeger's Early Controversies and the Growth of Christianity and Hegemonius: Acta Archelai (The Acts of Archelaus), Manichaean Studies, Vol. 4.

Reviews

"A thoughtful guide to the beginnings of a complex religion, this volume is recommended for high school and academic libraries with an interest in Christian history. Appropriate for circulating collections."—Booklist, July 1, 2013

"The issues that Kaatz discusses resonate strongly today just as they did when they were first created. Kaatz cuts to the heart of what could be an unwieldy subject and provides excellent context and explanations on all the issues he discusses. Readers interested in bettering their understanding of the functions of the Christian religion and the Catholic Church will learn much from the questions and discussions within this volume."—Library Journal, May 15, 2013

"This is a wonderful introduction into the writings of early Christianity edited by Kevin W. Katz. . . . This book is highly recommended to those studying the writings of early Christianity and is recommended to public, academic, and theological libraries."—ARBA, May 1, 2013

Voices of an Era

The Voices of an Era series utilizes primary document excerpts, with introductory and follow-up material, to illuminate the character and social history of particular historical periods.

From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the award-winning Voices of an Era.

Each volume focuses on a specific historical era, offering a window into those times by bringing together a fascinating collection of primary documents, organized by cultural and social topics (art, food, religion, family life, recreation, etc.). Introductions, critical thinking questions, and other supporting material help teachers use these documents to bring true, effective inquiry-based learning to their classrooms.

Features

Each of volume of Voices of an Era features 40-50 primary sources A chronology of the period cover in that volume Selected bibliography of print and nonprint sources (including Web sites, DVDs, CD ROMs, videos, films, etc.) suitable for student research A glossary of terms found in the introductory and followup material 15-30 sidebars per vol. Include "Did you Know"-type information, explanations of key concepts, etc. 40-50 Definition Fact Boxes per vol. Include definitions of unfamiliar terms from the text of the documents themselves.
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