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Author Topic: Church history book suggestions?  (Read 740 times) Average Rating: 0
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DeeperFaith
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« on: August 26, 2011, 02:50:59 AM »

I home school my 13 year old dd, and I want to do church history with her, but the resources I have are protestant and lean toward reformed theology. Can someone suggest a book we can use with our history studies?

A little background: We have attended a reformed-leaning church her whole life. I'm starting to lean toward Orthodoxy (it's been a slow lean) and I want to start teaching her Orthodox history a bit at a time. She's very opposed to change of any kind, so I can't just up and say, "Sorry! We're changing!" I thought incorporating some church history that's not anti-Orthodox, or at least  not blatantly reformed, might be a slow, easy start for her.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 04:24:45 AM »

Why not look at the first 300 years using documents of the time, rather than a text book. Then you can allow the Fathers of the Church to speak for themselves. There are many short and accessible texts.

Many of them are gathered together here..

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

Some of these are heretical writings of course, so you need to choose the right ones. But it would be interesting to look at Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian etc, both to illustrate Church History and to describe the life and teachings of the Early Church.

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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 06:51:25 AM »

There's a couple of books I read to my older kids when we were becoming Orthodox and I was still homeschooling.

"Heroes for Truth" by Sophie Koulomzim is good. Fr. Tom Hopko has a 4 pt. series and the 3rd one is about church History: "The Orthodox Faith: Bible and Church History; Volume III".   Fr. Tom's books are easily found, "Heroes for Truth" may be a bit more difficult. I think I bought mine from OCA's dept. of Christian Ed. PM me if you need help. 

Also, there is an Orthodox homeschool email group at Yahoo.  Look them up, they'll have lots of recommendations.
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 01:00:12 PM »

Thank you both for the suggestions! I hadn't thought of finding the actual writings *smacking forehead*. And, the yahoo group is a great idea! Thanks again!
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 02:11:59 PM »


There is also a History of the Church by St. Eusebius, who lays out the Church's history from the time of the Apostles up to his time (which is the 5th century). Most translations are a bit heavy (but then, Eusebius wrote paragraph-long sentences in the original Greek), so it might be better to just use extracts; however, it's good at giving the Church's tradition of, for example, what happened to the Apostles after the book of Acts.
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 02:14:38 PM »

If you use the source documents then you are in complete control of the material and it is neutral, in that it is not from a book about 'Orthodoxy' but it is the actual words of actual people which can be allowed to speak for itself.
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 02:27:31 PM »

Eusuebius was a saint? But I think his Church History collection is on New Advent if I'm not mistaken, it's a great read.
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 04:10:50 PM »


No, he isn't a canonized saint - I was just being a bit overenthusiastic Smiley .. he also died in the 4th century, so my comments about the fifth century are wrong too. Apologies for both mistakes. Eusuebius' history goes up to around the time of St Constantine's final victory over Licinius
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2011, 09:53:58 PM »

If you use the source documents then you are in complete control of the material and it is neutral, in that it is not from a book about 'Orthodoxy' but it is the actual words of actual people which can be allowed to speak for itself.

Father Peter, thank you. I have looked the site over and have decided we'll look at the church fathers this year. I found a list of 32 of them and we'll study one a week. This will be a good start for us.

I'm also going to order the Heroes for Truth books (I found them at Paideaclassics.org).

Thanks again for all the responses. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2011, 10:12:02 PM »

Why not look at the first 300 years using documents of the time, rather than a text book. Then you can allow the Fathers of the Church to speak for themselves. There are many short and accessible texts.

Many of them are gathered together here..

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

Some of these are heretical writings of course, so you need to choose the right ones. But it would be interesting to look at Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian etc, both to illustrate Church History and to describe the life and teachings of the Early Church.

Father Peter

Early Christian writings: the Apostolic Fathers By Andrew Louth, Maxwell Staniforth
http://books.google.com/books?id=hh5U4Bfl3owC&printsec=frontcover&dq=penguin+early+christian+writings&hl=en#v=onepage&q=penguin%20early%20christian%20writings&f=false
is a little more readable translation of the above works.  The penguin translation of Eusebius
http://books.google.com/books?id=FCiLqebCnUkC&dq=penguin+eusebius&hl=en
is also pretty good.

These is also good
http://books.google.com/books?id=LIgMFJdXwagC&dq=penguin+eusebius&source=gbs_navlinks_s
http://books.google.com/books?id=KgpGs1wdle4C&pg=PA18&dq=penguin+eusebius&hl=en#v=onepage&q=penguin%20eusebius&f=false
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 01:40:23 PM »

ialmisry, thank you for the links!
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