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Patristics/Early Church History

This guide identifies resources on patristics and early church history found in Pius XII Memorial Library. The guide is intended for use by both beginning or advanced graduate students and faculty.


Albert, Micheline et al.  Christianismes Orientaux:  Introduction à l'Étude des langues et des littératures.  Paris:  Les Editions du Cerf, 1993.
     BR66.5 .C47 1993 

Detailed information on the languages and literature of Eastern Christianity. 

Bradley, James E. and Richard A. Muller.  Church History:  An Introduction to Research Methods and Resources.  2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2016.
     Ref. BR138 .B69 2016

A brief introduction to primary sources for the early church can be found on pp. 98-100 and a partially annotated bibliography of reference sources and other research tools for early church history is on pp. 200-208.

Johnston, William.  Recent Reference Books in Religion:  A Guide for Students, Scholars, Researchers, Buyers, & Readers.  Rev. ed.  Chicago:  Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1998.  Ref. BL48 .J654 1998 (2nd copy available in general Pius collection) 

When you get past the trendy essay on "The Postmodern Revolution in Reference Books" and the problematic "Glossary:  Types and Functions of Reference Books" (the author tries to establish twenty-two distinct types of reference tools), there is actually some quite useful information for both beginners and advanced scholars in this book.  Includes discussion of scope, strengths, weaknesses and competitors of each reference tool covered.  Often quite opinionated and all the more enjoyable (though not necessarily more reliable) for that.  Reference tools pertaining to different "Periods of Church History" are covered on pp. 172ff.;  the "Early Church" on pp. 176-185.

Kepple, Robert J. and John R. Muether.  Reference Works for Theological Research:  An Annotated Selective Bibliographical Guide.  3rd ed. Lanham, MD; New York;  London:  University Press of America.
     Ref. BR118 .R44 1991

See Ch. 26, pp. 129-133 ("Church History:  General Coverage") and Ch. 27, pp. 135-139 ("Ancient Church History and Patristics").

Lorizio, Giuseppe and Nunzio Galantino, eds.  Metodologia teologica:  avviamento allo studio e alla ricerca pluridisciplinari. Milan, Italy:  Edizioni San Paolo, 1994.     Ref. BR 118.M47 1994

Contains two relevant essays, both supplied with reference bibliographies.  “Gli Studi Patristici e il Loro Metodo” by Lorenzo Dattrino (pp. 222-239) and “La Storia Della Chiesa” by Sergio Tanzarella (pp. 279-302).  The discussion of the interaction between history and theology on pp. 286-290 is worthwhile.  Especially useful (understandably) for Italian language resources.

Lutz E. Von Padberg and Michael von Furstenberg, eds.  Bucherverzeichnis zur Kirchengeschichte:  eine kommentierte Bibliographie.  Paderborn:  Bonifatius, 1999.
     BR 145.2 .P33 1999

See sections on early church on pp. 8dff and 97ff.  There are also brief sections on early Christian archeology and early Christian architecture.

Marckschies, Christoph.  Arbeitsbuch Kirchengeschichte.  Tübingen:  J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1995.
     Ref. BR 138 .M37 1995

A German handbook on methods in church history.  The two major sections of this book deal with sources and the criticsm of sources.  Two separate chapters discuss the goal of church history as a subdiscipline of history on the one hand and of  theology on the other.

McCabe, James Patrick.  Critical Guide to Catholic Reference Books.  3rd ed. Englewood, CO:  Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1989.
     Ref. BX1751.2 .M3 1989 

Ch. 2 ("Theology") contains a section on "Patrology" (pp. 83-91) and Ch. 5 ("History") contains sections on "General Church History" (pp. 212-219 and "History by Periods--Ancient" (pp. 217-219).  The sections on "The Papacy" (pp. 230-238) and "Councils" (pp. 238-243) also may contain relevant material.

Moulinet, Daniel.  Guide Bibliographique des Sciences Religieuses.  Paris:  Editions Salvator, 2000.
     Ref. BR118.M68 2000

See pp. 293-315 for “Patristique” bibliography including reference tools, bibliographies including those regularly published in journals, collections of patristic texts in various languages, monograph series, and journals.

Schwinge, Gerhard.  Wie finde ich theologische Literatur.  Dritte, vollig neu bearbeitete Auflage.  Berlin:  Berlin Verlag Arno Spitz, 1994.
     Ref. BL48.S38 1994

Not particularly well organized for purposes of locating sources by chronological period.  Basic reference works (encyclopedias, bibliographies, lexica, etc. are treated in section 2 of Ch. 4 ("Sachauskunftmittel"); see esp. the following sections:  pp. 88-90 ("Kirchengeschichte insgesamt"), pp. 90-91 ("Alte Kirche"), pp. 104-105 ("Griechische und romische Religion"), pp. 107f. ("Altertumswissenschaft"), pp. 134-135 ("Kirchengeschichte insgesamt"), Section 3 of Ch 4 ("Literaturauskunftmittel") lists sources of information for books (i.e. monographs, Festschriften, etc.) and journal articles;  see esp. pp. 134-135 ("Patristik und Mittelalter").  Reference sources relevant to patristics are scattered throughout other sections as well, e.g. the Dictionnaire d'archeologie chretienne et de liturgie appears in the section on "Liturgik."   Useful for practicing your German!