From Clement to Origen addresses the engagement of a number of pre-Nicene Church Fathers with the surrounding culture. David Rankin considers the historical and social context of the Fathers, grouped in cities and regions, their writings and theological reflections, and discusses how the particular engagement of each with major aspects of the surrounding culture influences, informs and shapes their thought and the articulation of that thought. The social and historical context of the Church Fathers is explored with respect to the Roman state, the imperial office and imperial cult, Greco-Roman class structures and the patron-client system, issues of wealth production and other commercial activity, the major philosophical thinkers in antiquity, and to rhetorical theory and practice and the higher learning of the day.
'As a window into the social theology of pre-Nicene Christian literature for the undergraduate reader or a handy summary for the specialist, this book can be highly recommended.' Australian Ejournal of Theology ’…the book does provide a well-articulated argument…Rankin's point is very well substantiated by numerous examples from several parts of the Roman Empire… This book would be of value in an upper-level or graduate class in history, philosophy, or literature…the book can serve as a valuable introduction or as a starting point for further discussion on a number of topics related to the social and historical context of the Church fathers.’ Bryn Mawr Reviews ’… offers a helpful guide to anyone who wishes to know more about the use of rhetoric in the first three centuries of Christianity.’ Theology