In this sixth volume of The New Church's Teaching Series, Rebecca Lyman introduces us to the world of the early church. Beginning with the Jewish, Greek, and Roman cultures in which the first followers of Jesus lived and worshiped, she traces the growth of the Christian church's theology, worship, leadership, and ethics through its first six centuries, ending with Augustine of Hippo.
Early Christian Traditions offers perceptive insights into the early church's intense conflicts that reveal the often thin line between orthodoxy and heresy, between true and false teachers, and among the many competing versions of Christianity. Lyman describes the early church's “family quarrels”—Gnosticism, Donatism, Arianism—as well as the theological, political, and linguistic issues that went into the making of the great creeds and established the apostolic tradition.
Rebecca Lyman is an Episcopal priest and the Samuel Garrett Professor of Church History at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. A popular teacher and lecturer on church history, she has also been a translator for The New American Bible. Her research and writing focus on the early history and definition of orthodoxy and heresy.