Reading the Church Fathers by Dr. James Papandrea. Sophia Institute Press (Manchester, NH, 2022). 464 pp., $21.95.
Explain Yourself (1 Pet 3:15). Controversies and disputes. Sound familiar? Startlingly, it was the disagreements and heresies in the early Church that demanded clarity in teaching.
The expanded edition of Reading the Church Fathers is Dr. Papandrea’s latest book from Sophia Press. Readers have become accustomed to his straightforward and engaging style in What Really Happens After We Die, From Star Wars to Superman, and How Christianity Saved Civilization.
This work lays out a compendium of teachings from confessors and apologists to theologians and scholastics.
It provides essential chart summaries of key theological concepts and doctrines, — including belief in centrality of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist — in addition to detailed footnotes and recommended texts.
Reading the Church Fathers reveals the roles of the apostles, clergy, deaconesses, and laity in the early Church. It unpacks the writings of Saints Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and other martyrs.
Dr. Papandrea explains that their ancient writings aren’t simply for the past—they aid our biblical understanding now. Also found in these pages are answers on how to accurately refute heresies, along with what is really meant by orthodoxy.
He poses questions, such as: Did some members of the early Church hierarchy really argue over beliefs? What were the marks of the early Church and the role of tradition? How was catechesis shared?
Readers will learn who chose the New Testament Canon and what criteria is used to interpret early Christian writings. They will explore topics on how apostolic succession is defined and the development of doctrine.
Reading the Church Fathers unveils the order to the liturgy of early Christians, as well as when the sacraments developed and devotions to Our Lady and the saints emerged.
Also featured are Church Mothers, like St. Macrina the Younger, who laid foundations for the monastic life.
These holy men and women affirm the reasons for our beliefs and the necessity to remain faithful to the one, true Church.
Members of the media may send an email to Sophia Institute Press’ Director of Publicity, Sarah Lemieux at slemieux@SophiaInstitute.com to receive a physical or digital copy of Reading the Church Fathers and/or to schedule an interview with the author.