August 21, 2009
Review: The Fathers of the Church
The Fathers of the Church (expanded edition) by Mike Aquilina is an engaging introduction to the men (and women) at the forefront of the early Church. Thorough enough that it's used by clergy and seminarians, the books is also easy to read and accessible to lay Catholics, which was just what I was looking for. I've always been interested in learning more about the early Church, but have found other books to be entirely too academic and boring for me to get through. Aquilina's book, in contrast, I actually thought was fun to read. The book covers the more well known fathers, such as St. Ignatius and St. John Chrysostom, but I was also introduced to some I had only heard of in passing, like St. Vincent of Lerins. The chapters are grouped by era, starting with the Apostolic fathers and ending in the Post-Nicene era, giving a nice continuity to the book that I found very helpful in understanding how the Church progressed. This expanded version also includes a short chapter on "Mothers of the Church" that was fascinating.
I think this is a great book for anyone who's wanting a good basic introduction to early Church history that focuses on getting to know the Fathers.
This review was written as a part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company.