The Unity of Christ

Continuity and Conflict in Patristic Tradition

Christopher A. Beeley

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No period of history was more formative for the development of Christianity than the patristic age, when church leaders, monks, and laity established the standard features of Christianity as we know it today. Combining historical and theological analysis, Christopher Beeley presents a detailed and far-reaching account of how key theologians and church councils understood the most central element of their faith, the identity and significance of Jesus Christ.

Focusing particularly on the question of how Christ can be both human and divine and reassessing both officially orthodox and heretical figures, Beeley traces how an authoritative theological tradition was constructed. His book holds major implications for contemporary theology, church history, and ecumenical discussions, and it is bound to revolutionize the way in which patristic tradition is understood.

Christopher Beeley is Walter H. Gray Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics at Yale Divinity School. He is the author of Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: In Your Light We Shall See Light, which won the 2010 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. Beeley lives in New Haven, CT.

“A major contribution within the field of patristic studies, and a lodestone or lightning rod of sorts. Beeley pulls some of the most extraordinary early Christian thinkers out of the sacred histories in which they have been enmeshed for centuries and sheds new light on them.”—Carlos Eire, Yale University

"Dr. Beeley's new book is not only a mine of knowledge, but a model of objectivity and scholarly discernment. It would be hard to find another book which combines such a lucid account of the Christology of Origen with such a judicious and comprehensive survey of the different appropriations of his legacy."—Mark Edwards, University of Oxford

"Beeley has turned his well-honed linguistic skills and his highly developed theological insights to this large canvas, sketching a new 'story line' for Patristic Christology that will have to be studied for decades."—Frederick W. Norris, Emmanuel School of Religion
"Beeley performs a signal service for the entire scholarly community - East and West - by tracing a clear line through the development of Patristic thinking on the relations of the members of the Trinity one to another, and subsequently the divine-human makeup in the person of Christ."—Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal
“Significant . . . an important work.”—John Gavin, Theological Studies
ISBN: 9780300178623
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
408 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4