Retrieving History introduces the early Christian ideas of history and history writing and shows their value for developing Christian communities of the patristic era. It examines the ways early Christians related and transmitted their history: apologetics, martyrdom accounts, sacred biography, and the genre of church history proper. Stefana Dan Laing shows that exploring the lives and writings of both men and women of the ancient church helps readers understand how Christian identity is rooted in the faithful work of preceding generations. Her book also offers a corrective to the individualistic and ahistorical tendencies within contemporary Christianity. It will appeal to professors and students in church history and patristics courses as well as pastors, worship leaders, and educated laypeople.
About the Series
The Evangelical Ressourcement series is grounded in the belief that there is a wealth of theological, exegetical, and spiritual resources from the patristic era that is relevant for the Christian church today and into the future. Amid the current resurgence of interest in the early church, this series aims to help church thinkers and leaders reappropriate these ancient understandings of Christian belief and practice and apply them to ministry in the twenty-first century.
1. Invitation to the Past
2. Ancient Historical Writing and the Rise of Historical Literary Forms
3. History as Apologetic: Harnessing a Usable Past
4. Martyrology: Remembering the Martyrs' Noble Example
5. Hagiography: Martyrdom as Discipleship in Early Christian Biographies
6. Ecclesiastical History: The Story of the Church
7. Conclusions and Trajectories