A guide for reading and studying the Fathers of the Church

Friday, December 18, 2020 - 12:19

Authored by Isidro Lamelas, CITER´s researcher, the book entitled « Os Padres da Igreja »has just come out. From the Apostles to Constantine, published by Universidade Católica Editora. This work in the form of a manual is intended to be a subsidy that helps readers to get acquainted with the Christian literature of the first 4 centuries and the thoughts of the authors who traditionally call them “Fathers of the Church”.

Because, as St Augustine recalls, “one does not love what one does not know” (De Trinitate, X, 1,3) and “we only know it out of friendship” (De diversis quaestionibus octoginta, 71,5), we believe that greater knowledge of the Fathers of the Church make us more "friends" of the Fathers and of the Church of which they were children, before being parents.

In order to read the patristic writings, separated from us for so many centuries, it is essential to place them in their historical, cultural and ecclesial context. After that, it is interesting to mention his legacy: written work, thought, action and posterity. For this, after the biographical data, the work and doctrinal contents are presented. Thinking of readers who wish to deepen the study of any of the authors or subjects, a select bibliography is also proposed for each section.

Quoting the words of Teodoreto de Ciro, when he attributes a therapeutic value to the act of writing: «Just as those who have the mission of healing bodies prepare medicines, fight diseases and give relief to those who suffer, so also the commitment to write it represents a healthy remedy to combat forgetfulness and nourish memory »(History of the Syrian monks, Preface); the author of this volume so rich in information, also assumes that he “writes in the hope that, with this subsidy, he will help to“ cure ”one of the diseases of our times: the loss of memory, a memory that continues to be vital for the future of the Christianity and the culture itself that we are all, in some way, heirs ”(Introduction).

We are certain that this Handbook (which is much more than that) will help to increase a greater appreciation for the wisdom of the Fathers and to revive the appetite for reading their writings.

The book can be order on the website of Universidade Católica Editora.

Os Padres da Igreja. Dos Apóstolos a Constantino