Patristics

Learning from the Church Fathers
Narrated by: David Meconi
Length: 3 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning professor Fr. David Meconi transports you to the world of the early Christians, where you will meet the great theologians who indelibly shaped Christianity. 

To understand Christian today - faith, traditions, scriptures, and theology - we must first understand its past. An Oxford-trained professor, David Meconi, S.J., examines the formative centuries of the Church (100 - 800 C.E.) and the great figures whose lives and writings inspired generations of later thinkers and believers. 

One of the recurring lessons of Church history emerges from the way in which Christians have historically responded to both internal and external challenges and developments. From these lectures, you will gain insight into pivotal ecumenical councils, theological debates, and the lives of Eastern and Western Fathers of the Church. 

Fr. Meconi’s scholarly meditation on moments within the life of the Church takes on the delicacy and precision of a well-executed portrait - proving that the pulse of the ancient faith still throbs inside the hearts of Christians today.

©2018 Now You Know Media Inc. (P)2018 Now You Know Media Inc.

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2 Parts Filler, 1 Part Fathers

AT A GLANCE:
The title is misleading. This would better be called "Popular Doctrine, with Occasional Reference to the Church Fathers".

CONTENT:
This is largely direct Catholic apologetic and catechesis. It works to this end; the content is well-presented and highly accessible. However, it is not a treatment of the Church Fathers, and it is not a functional introduction to Patristics. It starts out strong with the lives and teachings of Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement and others. We are given a decent overview of the Cappodocians and Athanasius, then Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine.
Unfortunately the structure falls apart at this point. We are given a selection of Catholic doctrine, expounded at length and in Sunday-school fashion. We hear much about the development of the canon, the nature of the Church and the worship of the early Christians, but only indirectly or occasionally relating these ideas back to the Fathers themselves. The author seems more concerned with the official doctrines on heresies and the physical nature of Christ than with what the Fathers thought about these things. He spends far too much time on Origen (who is here identified as not being a Father) while not even mentioning others such as John of Damascus, Gregory the Great, Ephraim the Syrian and John Cassian. For instance, Leo the Great is quoted at substantial length to support the primacy of the papacy, while John Chrysostom is quoted twice, with hardly any introduction, as a prooftext for infant baptism. This presentation is most interesting when it stays on-topic, which is disappointingly infrequent in the last hours.

NARRATOR:
Fr Meconi is a suitable narrator of his own work. His voice is pleasant and easy listening. It needs to be mentioned, however, that the editing is sub-par. There are places where a previous recording is repeated, even whole paragraphs read twice back-to-back. This is the only audiobook I have found from Now You Know Media where it was obviously not reviewed for quality before release.

CONCLUSION:
Recommended to those who are just beginning an inquiry into Catholic history and ideas. If you are looking for an academic or in-depth look at the Church Fathers this will not be satisfactory.

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Dry and not informative

Very unbalanced approach. Dry and not very informative. I am looking for a more historical approach and a discussion of ideas.

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Outstanding course!

Fr. Meconi's deep knowledge of the early Church and the formation of Christian theology is only matched by the clarity and erudition of his lectures. Excellent coverage of the Church Fathers and the ideas and debates that shaped Christian history.

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Outstanding

The review and care with which Father David presented the material regarding the early church fathers, beliefs and practices were incredibly interesting and accessible. His ability to explain various fathers' views and theology makes me hope there are other presentations by Father David. If you wish to learn about the early Church and the beliefs of its earliest leaders, this is not to be missed. It weaves the tapestry of continuity between our beliefs today and those same beliefs in the first five hundred years of the Christian era. Well done.

1 person found this helpful