Mike Aquilina

Get Expansive

Wednesday July 12th 2006, 7:48 am

My publisher, Our Sunday Visitor, has begun taking advance orders for the new, expanded edition of my book The Fathers of the Church, which is slated to roll of the presses in early September. Advance ordering from OSV will get you quickest shipment. The toll-free number is 1-800-348-2440. Make sure to specify that you want the new, expanded edition.

Several people have written to ask what’s different about the new volume. Well … lots! I revised the text and added much new material. I did, however, try to keep the accessible style that made the first edition so popular.

New in this edition are writers from the Syriac and Coptic traditions and from the lands of modern Africa, Iraq, and Iran.

Also, I’ve added eleven more ancient writers:

St. Melito of Sardis
St. Hippolytus of Rome
St. Aphrahat the Persian Sage
St. Ephrem of Syria
St. Cyril of Alexandria
St. Vincent of Lerins
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
St. Maximus Confessor
St. Perpetua of North Africa
St. Syncletica of Egypt
St. Egeria the Gallic Pilgrim

Careful readers will notice additional material by important ancient authors, such as Irenaeus, Clement, Origen — and some material that’s been unavailable in English for more than 100 years.

In a concession to my academic friends — and an acknowledgment that the book is widely used as a college text — I’ve added an index and endnote references for all quotations. And I’ve expanded the recommended-reading section, which is now more than twice as large as in the first edition, and now subdivided and annotated.

Here’s advance notice from some critics I admire:

“The first edition of this book rather quickly established itself as the standard popular introduction to the Fathers. This new edition raises the standard. . . Aquilina shows us the Fathers as true fathers, and he demonstrates their crucial role as witnesses to Sacred Tradition — indispensable guides to the Church’s interpretation of Scripture. They are witnesses to our continuity with the apostles, and to the unity and universality of the apostolic faith. Yet, as we see in this book, they are not uniform voices. Theirs is a rich diversity that enhances unity. What Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were for Israel, the Fathers are for the Church. Reading this book, one grows more Catholic by the page. It will surely be a classic.”
Scott Hahn, Ph.D.
Pope Benedict XVI Chair in Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation
St. Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, Pa.

Too many Christians suffer from historical amnesia. The Church very much needs a popular rediscovery of the early Fathers, and this book admirably makes such a discovery possible. It will be of great benefit to numerous Christians.
Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.
Honorary Theological Fellow, Greyfriars, Oxford
Capuchin College, Washington, D.C.

Sooner or later, every thinking Christian discovers the duty to study the Church Fathers. It’s a matter of religious literacy, if not a debt of family loyalty. The Fathers fought the first culture wars; we should at least learn from them. They died for our faith; we should at least honor their memory. I hope you’ll enjoy the new, expanded edition of my book!