InterVarsity Press is thrilled to announce the release of the long-awaited three-volume Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity.
This comprehensive set originated with the widely praised Italian edition: Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichità cristiane (2006-2008). The English version—developed by a team of editors, translators, designers and typesetters—includes new articles and revisions that the previous Italian version did not publish, and is sure to be a major part of libraries and collections throughout the English-speaking world.
"When it comes to describing academic works, caution and understatement are appropriately the rule," said Andrew T. Le Peau, associate publisher and editorial director. "The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, however, compels one to use words like monumental, definitive and, yes, encyclopedic. This is a stunning gift to the church and the academy."
Produced by the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, the world's foremost center for patristic studies, and under the direction of Professor Angelo Di Berardino, the set has unparalleled, comprehensive coverage of persons, places and ideas from ancient Christianity. The three volumes include 3,220 articles written by 266 contributors from 26 countries, covering such topics as archaeology, art and architecture, biography, culture, doctrine, ecclesiology, geography, history, philosophy, and theology.
Jim Hoover, IVP's former associate editorial director, devoted the end of his career to guiding this project from acquisition through final editing. His retirement at the end of 2013 culminated in completing the final portions of the EAC. Hoover worked in partnership with consulting editors Thomas C. Oden and Joel C. Elowsky.
"The sheer mass of scholarly work on early Christianity is astounding. New studies with new methods have been included," writes Oden in the preface. "These contributors... are offering an unrivaled resource in English for scholars around the world."
The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity is garnering early praise from scholars and clergy worldwide. Readers of all types have been calling for a revised edition of the original Encyclopedia of the Early Church, largely due to the fact that the field of patristic studies has grown rapidly since its publication in 1992.
"For two decades, the Encyclopedia of the Early Church has been a most valuable vademecum for scholars, students, teachers and preachers. The good news is that now it's even better, with five hundred new articles and fresh research, in this splendid new Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity," says Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York. "A sure guide to spiritual, moral and theological challenges of today is the wisdom of the past, and here we have it in a most attractive and helpful volume."
The publication of the EAC will be celebrated this spring with a reception during the annual North American Patristics Society meeting May 22-24 in Chicago, IL.
For more information about the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, please visit ivpress.us/encyclopedia-of-ancient-christianity.