Tertullian, First Theologian of the West

Overview

Tertullian was the first Western Christian to write theology, defending Christians against the hostility of the Roman state, as well as arguing against Marcion, Praxeas and theosophical fantasy. A complex thinker, Tertullian has, in the modern era, been rejected by both liberal Christianity and its secular critics. For a long time misquoted and misused, he now calls for sustained analysis and interpretation. This book offers a major reappraisal of his theology and its influence on the shape of the western ...
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Overview

Tertullian was the first Western Christian to write theology, defending Christians against the hostility of the Roman state, as well as arguing against Marcion, Praxeas and theosophical fantasy. A complex thinker, Tertullian has, in the modern era, been rejected by both liberal Christianity and its secular critics. For a long time misquoted and misused, he now calls for sustained analysis and interpretation. This book offers a major reappraisal of his theology and its influence on the shape of the western Christian tradition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Osborn has written what is quite simply the best introduction to the thought of Tertullian in any language." T. D. Barnes, Theological Studies

"This highly readable and comprehensive work is a model of how historical theology should be done." Commonwealth

"This is a book to be read, to ponder, and to order for college, university, and seminary library." David P. Efroymson, Journal of Early Christian Studies

"With this work on Tertullian, E. Osborn makes a welcome addition to his earlier studies on Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria, as well as his others books on the development of early Christian theology, philosophy and moral thought." John Behr, St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly

"...Osborn creates a welcome 'comic relief' from, and a very humane perspective upon, the high seriousness of his subject by a light but pervasive humor." Church History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521524957
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/3/2003
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Note on the text and list of abbreviations
1 Simplicity and perfection 1
2 The puzzle: Athens and Jerusalem 27
3 The paradox: credible because inept 48
4 Strife of opposites and faith as recognition 65
5 Antithesis in one God: 'Against Marcion' 88
6 Trinity and christology 116
7 Prayer and the bible 144
8 Mankind's two natures and a sordid church 163
9 Argument and humour: Hermogenes and the Valentinians 183
10 Promise of laughter, judgement of hell: apocalypse and system 209
11 Ethics of conflict 225
Conclusion 246
Select bibliography 259
Subject index 269
Citations from Tertullian 272
Citations from the Bible 283
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