New, Recent, and Forthcoming Books in Patristics and Early Christianity

Updated: Jul 30


It can be difficult to keep track of the steady flow of new titles in patristics and related fields. Below are just a few of the new, recent, or forthcoming editions, translations, monographs, and collected studies that have come to our attention in the last few years. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but we hope that it will prove useful to students and readers interested in early Christianity and patristics. Look for similar, supplementary reviews in the near future.


Editions


Tobias Thum and José Declerck, eds. Johannes von Damaskos, Die Schriften, Band 8: Sacra (spuria), vols. 4-8 (De rerum humanarum natura et statu), Patristische Texte und Studien 74-78 (Berlin: De Gruyter 2018-2019).


Among the works historically attributed to St John of Damascus is a florilegium known as the Sacra (Parallela). De Gruyter, in its monumental series of critical editions (Patristische Texte und Studien), brings us the second book of the Sacra parallela, namely the section On Man, in the eighth volume - in multiple fascicles - of the complete works (Die Schriften) of St John Damascene.


Siegfried Richter, ed., The Manichaean Coptic Papyri in the Chester Beatty Library. Psalm Book Part I, 1 (Brepols, 2022).


In 1929, a breakthrough discovery was made in Medinet Madi (Egypt) of the oldest original writings of the Manichean religion (hitherto unavailable) in Coptic translation. The Book of [Manichaean] “Psalms” in the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), in papyrus, is one of seven codices found at that site. Following important restoration work, this is the first edition of Part I, 1: 122 pages of Coptic text accompanied by a German translation. The poetically demanding songs offer an original insight into the Manichaean religion. In addition to a group of psalms that preserved the oldest sun hymns of Manichaeism, some psalms in 22 stanzas reflect the content of the living gospel of the founder of the religion, Mani.



Translations


Ronald E. Heine, The Commentary of Origen on the Gospel of St Matthew, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford University Press, 2018).


Late in his life, in the mid-third century, Origen wrote a Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, the first known commentary ever written on this Gospel. Eight of the original twenty-five books have been preserved in the original Greek language, supplemented by a Latin translation made in the sixth century and numerous fragments. This new translation is the first complete English translation of the entirety of the Greek and Latin source material.


Mark DelCogliano, ed., The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings: Volume 3, Christ: Through the Nestorian Controversy (Cambridge University Press, 2022).


The third installment of this broad anthology of early Christian texts from ca. 100 to ca. 650. This volume, concerned with early Christian reflection on Christ as God incarnate from the first century to ca. 450, includes not only Greek and Latin but also Syriac and Coptic texts.



Mark DelCogliano, ed., The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings: Volume 4, Christ: Chalcedon and Beyond (Cambridge University Press, 2022).


The fourth installment of this broad anthology, focusing on early Christian reflection on Christ as God incarnate from ca. 450 to the eighth century.



John M. Duffy, The Homilies of Sophronios of Jerusalem, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 64 (Harvard University Press, 2020).


Part of the DOML, a relatively recent series from Harvard UP that seeks to move beyond the literary period covered by the Loeb Classical Library, this volume presents the Greek text, with facing English translation, of seven sermons delivered by Sophronios of Jerusalem from 634–638, during his short tenure as Patriarch, at the end of his life and as the Holy City was conquered by Islamic forces.


Robert H. Jordan and Rosemary Morris, The Life and Death of Theodore of Stoudios, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 70 (Harvard University Press, 2021).


In this hagiographical work, Michael the Monk describes a golden age at Stoudios as well as the often antagonistic encounters between imperial rulers and the monastery’s influential abbot, St Theodore (759–826). This new English translation contains the Encyclical Letter of Naukratios, written in 826 by Theodore’s successor, as well as the Translation and Burial, which contains brief biographies of Theodore and his brother, along with an eyewitness account of their reburial at Stoudios.


John Palmer, trans., From Ashes and Ruin: Selections from the Writings of St Gennadios Scholarios (Newrome Press, 2022).


Gennadios Scholarios, the first Patriarch of Constantinople after the fall of the city in 1453, is known to scholars and historians primarily as a theological writer. But Scholarios was also a pastor who authored many works designed to edify and inspire the faithful. This new translation, with a Foreword by Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, Fr Maximos Constas, constitutes the largest collection of works by Scholarios available in English, bringing together a number of texts on sin and repentance, faith, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, the sacraments, and the life of holiness and virtue.


Blake Hartung, Joshua Falconer, and J. Edward Walters, Songs for the Fast and Pascha: St Ephrem the Syrian, Fathers of the Church 145 (CUA Press, December 2022).


This forthcoming volume presents English translations of four complete madrāšē cycles of St Ephrem: On the Fast, On the Unleavened Bread, On the Crucifixion, and On the Resurrection.



See, also, the newest translations from


Monographs


Councils


Thomas Graumann, The Acts of the Early Church Councils: Production and Character (Oxford University Press, 2021).


Examines the Acta of ancient church councils as the objects of textual practices, in their editorial shaping, and in their material conditions. It traces the processes of their production, starting from the recording of spoken interventions during a meeting, to the preparation of minutes of individual sessions, to their collection into larger units, their storage and the earliest attempts at their dissemination.


Mark S. Smith, The Idea of Nicaea in the Early Church Councils, AD 431-451, Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford University Press, 2019).


This critically-acclaimed study examines the role that invocations of and rival construals of Nicaea (both the council and its creed) played in the major councils of the mid-fifth century, especially given the problematic ‘sufficiency’ of Nicaea and its creed.



Patristics and Philosophy


Johannes Zachhuber, The Rise of Christian Theology and the End of Ancient Metaphysics: Patristic Philosophy from the Cappadocian Fathers to John of Damascus (Oxford University Press, 2020).


The first ever attempt at an overarching analysis of “patristic philosophy,” beginning with what Zachhuber describes as the first distinctively Christian theory of being, followed by its radical modification in the Cappadocians, and following from there to the debates surrounding the Council of Chalcedon up to the eighth century. See a review of this book here.


Mark Edwards, Aristotle and Early Christian Thought (Routledge, 2019).


This is the first book in English to give a synoptic account of the slow appropriation of Aristotelian thought in the Christian world from the second to the sixth century. Concentrating on the themes of creation, the soul, the Trinity, and Christology, it makes full use of modern scholarship on the Peripatetic tradition after Aristotle, explaining the significance of Neoplatonism as a mediator of Aristotelian logic. While stressing the fidelity of Christian thinkers to biblical presuppositions, it also describes their attempts to overcome the pagan objections to biblical teachings by a consistent use of Aristotelian principles. See a review here.


Panagiotis G. Pavlos, Lars Fredrik Janby, Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, and Torstein Theodor Tollefsen, eds., Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity (Routledge, 2019).


Treating a large number of Church Fathers and philosophical themes, this edited volume examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith.



Origen


Ronald E. Heine and Karen Jo Torjesen, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Origen (Oxford University Press, 2022).


These thirty essays and studies offer fresh vistas on Origen’s theology as well as the ways in which his legacy was adopted, transformed, and transmitted from the fourth century through the Reformation and into modernity. Features some of the most prominent scholars in the study of Origen and related topics.



Origen / Exegesis


Claire Hall, Fate, Authority, Allegory, and the Structure of Scripture (Oxford University Press, 2021).


This book argues that Origen thought about prophecy using the same threefold structure that he applied to the exegesis of Scripture, seeing in it somatic (future-telling), psychic (moral), and pneumatic (mystical revelatory) senses. Hall explores Origen’s understanding of prophecy alongside Greek pagan, Jewish, and Christian thinking about prophecy, divination, time, human nature, autonomy and freedom, allegory and metaphor, and the role of the divine in the order and structure of the cosmos.



Origen / Divine Simplicity


Pui Him Ip, Origen and the Emergence of Divine Simplicity before Nicaea (University of Notre Dame Press, November 2022).


For centuries, Christian theology affirmed God as simple (haplous) and tri-hypostatic. Through a detailed historical exploration of Irenaeus, sources from the Monarchian controversy, and especially Origen’s oeuvre, Ip examines the key contributions to this basic Christian question arising in ante-Nicene theology.



Origen / Augustine


Giovanni Hermanin de Reichenfeld, The Spirit, the World and the Trinity: Origen’s and Augustine’s Understanding of the Gospel of John (Brepols, 2021).


How, and why, did ancient Christian authors elaborate a theology of the Holy Spirit? This study examines the theology of Origen and Augustine, in particular, in order to show how traditional problems such as subordinationism and essentialism can be re-framed through an examination of these authors’ exegesis of the Gospel of John.



Eusebius / Canon


Jeremiah Coogan, Eusebius the Evangelist: Rewriting the Fourfold Gospel in Late Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2022).


Eusebius of Caesarea organized the textual relationships among the four Gospels in a system known as the Eusebian apparatus. This books examines how his famous canon tables, sectioning, and tables of contents helped transform the reading and interpretation of the Gospels in the late ancient world.



Tatian / Diatesseron


James W. Barker, Tatian's Diatessaron: Composition, Redaction, Recension, and Reception, Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford University Press, 2022).


Covering the widest array of manuscript evidence to date, this book seeks to uncover the composition and reception history behind the lost text of the second-century Diatesseron (or Gospel Harmony). In it, Barker reconstructs the compositional and editorial practices by which Tatian wrote his Gospel, sorting every extant witness according to its narrative sequence and unveiling the macrostructure of Tatian's Gospel.



Clement


J.M.F. Heath, Clement of Alexandria and the Shaping of Christian Literary Practice: Miscellany and the Transformation of Greco-Roman Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2020).


Clement’s Stromateis have been ignored in the study of Greco-Roman miscellanies. This book interrogates the notion of Clement's ‘Christian difference’ by comparing his work with the classic works of Plutarch, Pliny, Gellius, and Athenaeus. It argues that Clement shaped his miscellanies as an instrument for encountering the hidden God in a hidden way, while marvelling at the variegated beauty of divine work refracted through the variegated beauty of his own textuality.



Nemesios


David Lloyd Dusenbury, Nemesius of Emesa on Human Nature: A Cosmopolitan Anthropology from Roman Syria, Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford University Press, 2021).


The first English monograph on this seminal work of Christian anthropology, notable for its influence on St Maximos the Confessor.




Jerome / Exegesis


Andrew Cain, Jerome’s Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles and the Architecture of Exegetical Authority, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford University Press, 2022).


In the year 386, St Jerome commented on four Pauline epistles: Galatians, Ephesians, Titus, Philemon, after recently having relocated to Bethlehem from Rome. This monograph provides the first book-length treatment of Jerome’s opus Paulinum in any language. Cain analyzes the commentaries’ philological method, engagement with Greek exegetical sources, and theological use of the person and thought of Paul.



Augustine


Han-luen Kantzer Komline, Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account, Oxford Studies in Historical Theology (Oxford University Press, 2019).


Engaging the imposing topic of Augustine on the will, Komline argues that Augustine's view is “theologically differentiated,” comprising four distinct types of human will, corresponding to four different theological scenarios, in which Augustine’s innovation consists in distinguishing these types with a detail and clarity unseen in any thinker before him.



Augustine / Cassian / Gregory the Great / Medieval Reception


Ineke van 't Spijker, Homo Interior and Vita Socialis: Patristic Patterns and Twelfth-Century Reflections (Brepols, 2022).


The idea of inwardness changes over time. So too does the idea of the self in relation to others. This books examines the thought of early Latin sources like Augustine, Cassian, Gregory the Great, and the Desert Fathers and its impact on medieval authors such as Hugh of Saint-Victor, Abelard, and Heloise.



Chrysostom


James Daniel Cook, Preaching and Popular Christianity: Reading the Homilies of St John Chrysostom (Oxford University Press, 2019).


This book reassesses the idea that Chrysostom was at odds with the congregations to which he preached (and thus a source for understanding ‘popular Christianity’). He examines the popularity of Chrysostom as a homilist in a liturgical setting where his late-antique audience was willing to listen to and learn from his stern language.



Rhetoric / Cappadocians / Chrysostom


Morwenna Ludlow, Art, Craft, and Theology in Fourth-Century Christian Authors, Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford University Press, 2020).


Ludlow here explore the metaphor, analogy, or guiding concept of art (painting and sculpture, but also medicine and music) in the context of the formation of the soul to explore ‘authorship as craft’ (techne). It focuses on Greek writers, especially the Cappadocians and Chrysostom, all of whom were trained in rhetoric. It offers a detailed examination of their use of two particular literary techniques – ekphrasis and prosōpopoeia – to make theological arguments and evoke a response from their readership.



Dionysios


Mark Edwards, Dimitrios Pallis, and George Steiris, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Dionysius the Areopagite (Oxford University Press, 2022).


Comprised of forty unique studies, including two by Director of the Pappas Patristic Institute, Fr Maximos Constas (on Dionysios and the New Testament and on Dionysios and Maximos the Confessor), this handbook covers nearly all aspects of the Dionysian corpus, from its antecedents in ancient Greek philosophy to its reception in the Byzantine period, the Latin West, and modernity.



Maximos the Confessor / Aquinas


Benjamin E. Heidgerken, Salvation through Temptation: Maximus the Confessor and Thomas Aquinas on Christ’s Victory over the Devil (CUA Press, 2021).


Focusing on Maximos and Aquinas as representatives of East and West, this work describes the development of Greek and Latin conceptions of temptation and of the work of Christ to heal and restore humankind in the context of that temptation. demonstrates the centrality of Christ’s exemplarity in the Greek account and the centrality of Christ’s moral perfections in the Latin account. Heidgerken argues that the Greek tradition of Maximus places distinct limits on the ability of human emotionality (even that of Christ) to be perfected in this life, whereas Thomas’s approach allows Christ to completely embody a perfected form of human emotionality in his here below.



Maximos the Confessor


Luke Steven, Imitation, Knowledge, and the Task of Christology in Maximus the Confessor (Cascade Books, 2020).


In this study, Luke Steven argues that throughout his oeuvre the Confessor positions the imitation of God as the key to knowledge, evincing a persistent epistemology that characterizes his earlier ascetic and spiritual works and prominently defines his later dogmatic christological method.



Latin Fathers / Pagan Religion


Mattias P. Gassman, Worshippers of the Gods: Debating Paganism in the Fourth-Century Roman West (Oxford University Press, 2020).


The late ancient world witnessed the political and social rise of Christianity in the empire and city of Rome. This book traces changing attitudes toward paganism from persecutions to the triumph of Christianity in the 380s. It demonstrates how Latin writers such as Lactantius, Firmicus Maternus, Ambrosiaster, and Ambrose offered substantive critiques of traditional religion shaped to their political circumstances and to the preoccupations of contemporary polytheism.



Aquinas / Medieval Reception


Jörgen Vijgen and Piotr Roszak, eds., Reading the Church Fathers with St. Thomas Aquinas: Historical and Systematical Perspectives (Brepols, 2021).


Aquinas’s reliance on the Church Fathers, as well as Byzantine theological sources more generally, has received significant attention in recent years. This collection of papers seeks to advance our understanding of this important field of study through historical and systematic analysis of Thomas’s use of (and relationship to) patristic authors like Jerome, Augustine, Isidore, John Damascene, Theophylact, and others.



Patristics, Systematic and Historical Theology


Nikolaos Loudovikos, Analogical Identities: The Creation of the Christian Self Beyond Spirituality and Mysticism in the Patristic Era (Brepols, 2020).


Loudovikos seeks in this study to offer an alternative, patristic anthropology (opposed to the nihilst and personalist ‘will to power’) that can serve as a source for the Western conception of ‘selfhood.’



Marcus Plested, Wisdom in Christian Tradition: The Patristic Roots of Modern Russian Sophiology (Oxford University Press, 2022).


A unique examination of the patristic roots of modern Russian Sophiology, this book offers a detailed exploration of the theme of wisdom in patristic,