Theophilus of Alexandria

Overview

If Theophilus of Alexandria seems a minor figure today, it is because we persist in seeing him through the eyes of hostile contemporary witnesses, each of whom had his own reasons for diminishing Theophilus’stature. In fact, he was one of the greatest bishops of the Theodosian era, who played an important role in a crucial phase of the Roman Empire’s transformation into a Christian society.

Norman Russell's new assessment of Theophilus shows him as an able theologian, an expert ...

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Theophilus of Alexandria

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Overview

If Theophilus of Alexandria seems a minor figure today, it is because we persist in seeing him through the eyes of hostile contemporary witnesses, each of whom had his own reasons for diminishing Theophilus’stature. In fact, he was one of the greatest bishops of the Theodosian era, who played an important role in a crucial phase of the Roman Empire’s transformation into a Christian society.

Norman Russell's new assessment of Theophilus shows him as an able theologian, an expert ecclesiastical lawyer, a highly skilled orator and, surprisingly, a spiritual teacher. The introductory section examines his efforts to Christianize an Egypt still denominated by its great temples and his battles to maintain the pre-eminence of the Alexandrian Church in an age of rapid change. The texts, most of them translated into a modern language for the first time, reveal the full power and range of his thinking.

Thoephilus of Alexandria brings back into focus a figure who has long been neglected in the study of early Christianity and will provide students and lecturers with a fresh perspective, not least through the translation of texts, for the first time, into English.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'There are many ways in which Norman Russell's virtual 'discover' of Theophilus, for the benefit of a mainstream audience, contributes to fill in gaps in our understanding of various episodes in the early Church. Russell is to be commended finally not only for providing important material for filling in these gaps, but also for convincingly presenting the complex figure of Theophilus as interesting on its own merits...Russell's own authorial voice speaks with elegant clarity, erudite and persuasive in the opening introduction, clear and fluid in the translation.' -Khaled Anatolios, Weston Jesuit School of Theology

'Norman Russell's attempt to gain him a hearing, and a sympathetic one, is...bold and original.' - International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415289153
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Series: Early Church Fathers Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,285,883
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface     vii
Abbreviations     ix
Introduction
The life of Theophilus of Alexandria     3
Texts
General introduction to the texts     45
The earlier Festal Letters     47
Homilies     50
Introduction     50
Homily on the Mystical Supper     52
Sermon on Death and Judgement     60
Sermon on Providence     61
Sermon on the Woman Suffering from a Flow of Blood     62
Sermon on the text 'Jesus went about all Galilee'     62
Homily on the Crucifixion and the Good Thief     63
Homily on Repentance and Self-control     70
Ecclesiastical legislation     79
Introduction     79
Letter to the Emperor Theodosius     81
Prologue to the Easter Table     82
Announcement on the Holy Theophany Falling on a Sunday     84
Memorandum to Ammon regarding Lycopolis     85
Ruling on 'the Pure'     88
To Bishop Agathon     88
To Bishop Menas     88
The Origenist controversy     89
Introduction     89
First Synodal Letter     91
Second Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Palestine andCyprus     93
Letters to the Origenist monks     100
Sixteenth Festal Letter (401)     101
Seventeenth Festal Letter (402)     118
Letter written at Constantinople (403)     139
Nineteenth Festal Letter (404)     143
Tractate on Isaiah 6: 1-7     159
Notes     175
Bibliography     201
Index     213
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