Early Christianity: A Textbook for African Students

Early Christianity: A Textbook for African Students

by Wendy Elgersma Helleman, Musa A. B. Gaiya

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Designed as an undergraduate textbook, and shaped by needs of both Muslim and Christian students across Africa, this resource provides a thorough introduction to the history, theology and teaching of early Christianity. Professors Helleman and Gaiya follow Christianity from its inception in Jerusalem through to the decline of the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean and the development of Orthodox churches in the East and in Africa before the arrival of Islam. The book provides an overview of critical historical events, controversies, teaching, and important individuals and movements providing foundational understanding of early developments in Christianity and the general history of antiquity. Students and lecturers will also appreciate the attention given to the role of North African leaders in early Christianity and the impact of major issues on the North African church, such as Gnosticism, Donatism and Arianism. Additional Features: • Introduction to online tools&resources •Survey of the study of early Christianity • Introduction to key historians • Evaluation of recent literature&early Christianity

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783685691
Publisher: Langham Creative Projects
Publication date: 09/30/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 534
File size: 19 MB
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About the Author

WENDY ELGERSMA HELLEMAN has a long and distinguished international teaching career spanning five decades. She has taught at various institutions around the world including the University of The Gambia, the University of Jos, Nigeria, Moscow State University, Russia, the University of Toronto, Canada, and a number of seminaries in the Philippines. Her PhD is in Ancient Philosophy from the Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and she has authored a number of major publications over her career.

MUSA A. B. GAIYA is a professor of church history at University of Jos, Nigeria. He did post-graduate studies in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the University of Jos. He is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Church Winning All, established by Serving In Mission. He has published several books and articles in reputable journals, locally and internationally. Musa enjoys cycling, reading and gardening and is married with four children.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Maps

Preface and Acknowledgements


Section I: Issues in the History of Early Christianity

  • 1 Background to Early Christianity
  • 2 The Rise and Spread of Christianity to AD 325
  • 3 Monasticism and Missions
  • 4 Persecution and Martyrdom: From Nero to Valerian (AD 64–260)
  • 5 Church and State in the Roman Empire (AD 260–380)
  • 6 The Early Church in North Africa

Section II: Christian Belief and Teaching

  • 7 Jesus Christ as Son of Man and Son of God: The Challenge of Judaism and Docetism
  • 8 Second-Century Gnosticism and Its Impact
  • 9 The Biblical Canon and Alternative Gospels
  • 10 Arianism and the Trinity: The Ecumenical Councils of Nicea and Constantinople (AD 325–381)
  • 11 The Person of Jesus: Five Ecumenical Councils (AD 431–787)
  • 12 The Golden Age of Early Christian Thought: Outstanding Fourth-Century Leaders

Section III: Epilogue

  • 13 The Disintegration of the Roman Empire

Glossary of Important Terms


Annotated Guide to Sources for Studies in Early Christianity

Index of Subjects

Index of Names

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