Kinzig on the Creeds
In these four volumes Wolfram Kinzig has put together the largest compilation to date of texts which profess to set out the principal tenets of the Church between the second and the eighth centuries of the Christian era. In dimension it easily surpasses its German precursors of the eighteenth and ni...
|Main Author:||Edwards, Mark J. 1962- (Author)|
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The journal of ecclesiastical history
Year: 2019, Volume: 70, Issue: 1, Pages: 119-129
Faith in formulae (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017)
In these four volumes Wolfram Kinzig has put together the largest compilation to date of texts which profess to set out the principal tenets of the Church between the second and the eighth centuries of the Christian era. In dimension it easily surpasses its German precursors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while in content it can aim to be more eclectic than the compendium which Philip Schaff addressed to the clergy and fellow-believers in 1877. Its only rival in the twenty-first century is the joint labour of Jaroslav Pelikan and Valerie Hotchkiss, broader in chronological range but therefore less exhaustive in its representation of this formative epoch. The first volume affords all necessary materials for the telling and untelling of the narrative which customarily ends with the promulgation of an amplified version of the Nicene Creed at Constantinople in 381; the second is an argosy of western specimens, a high proportion being prototypes or variants of the so-called Apostles Creed; the third is a miscellany of both personal and synodical confessions, some conventional, some idiosyncratic, many obscure in provenance and purpose; the contents of the fourth are drawn primarily from the Carolingian era, though the sources consulted in the first half are as various as the Pontifical of Donaueschingen (vol. iv. 99), the Irish Book of Dimma (iv. 119), the Dicta Leonis Episcopi (iv. 158-61) and the Sacramentary of Autun (iv. 283). The result is a monument of erudition, an invaluable resource for all future scholarship, and pleasurable reading for those who have hitherto been unable to approach the texts for want of an English rendering. The following remarks are therefore offered to the editor of these volumes as a stimulus to discussion, not to throw any aspersion on his judgement or on his many-times-proven competence as historian and critic.