The Work of St. Optatus: A Catholic Church History, wherein a Saint and Early Church Father Condemns the Donatist Schism After the Persecution of Christians by Roman Emperor Diocletian (All Seven Books with Appendixes)

The Work of St. Optatus: A Catholic Church History, wherein a Saint and Early Church Father Condemns the Donatist Schism After the Persecution of Christians by Roman Emperor Diocletian (All Seven Books with Appendixes)

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Overview

The Work of St. Optatus opens the door to the tumultuous history of the Catholic church in the early 4th Century. Saint Optatus served as Bishop in what is today Mila, Algeria during the Diocletian persecutions of Christians between 302-311 A.D. .



As an early Father of the Church, St. Optatus is unique in leaving only this work behind. It is an extensive critique against the Donatists - whose interpretation of Christianity was declared heresy by the Catholic church - and also serves as a history and narrative of the upheavals and the conflicts within early Christianity.



The main argument Optatus makes is that the Donatist assertion that the church can be located in Africa around the locality of Carthage is wrong. That Peter was given the title of Bishop of Rome made Rome itself a better and more representative location for the church. Furthermore elements of Donatist doctrine - such as teachings derived from St. Cyprian stating that baptism outside of the church is acceptable - are lambasted as heresy.



In offering a powerful condemnation of the Donatist movement, Optatus offers a glimpse of how influential Christianity was becoming. There were a series of 'anti-popes' elected by the Donatists who were roundly rejected by the Catholic leaders, amid a great burgeoning of interest in Christian belief in many cities within and around the Roman Empire.



Though Optatus is firm and even vociferous in his condemnation of Donatism, he advocates for a peaceful end to the schism and states that he wants the Donatists to reunite with the one, holy and Catholic church. Such forgiveness is an acknowledgement that no believer, however pious, is perfect; this in itself embodies Christ's teachings.



This edition reproduces the notes of both the original author and the translator. These variously clarify the beliefs stated, and offer historical cross-referencing between the writings of Optatus and other texts of the era. The Diocletian persecution, whereby all Christians living in the Roman Empire lost their civil rights and were attacked or murdered, signified a turning point as Christianity supplanted the old pagan beliefs of Rome.



The translator of this edition, Oliver Rodie Vassall-Phillips, was a theologian and scholar who did much to introduce works by the early church fathers to a modern audience. Acknowledging that Saint Optatus is among the least-known of early church fathers, the translator highlights the vitality of his writings, their charged and passionate tone, and the historical value they carry regarding a period of great upheaval in the civilized world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781717120786
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Pages: 154
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.33(d)

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