Church Fathers

Also known as: "Patristic Studies"


Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield).  


Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo: Sunset over the Pacific Ocean, Oregon Coast (Spanish Head).  Photo Copyright 2007 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved. The era of the Church Fathers is from the completion of the New Testament to 750 A.D.

Who are the "Church Fathers"?  And what exactly are "Church Fathers"?  They could perhaps also be referred to as Early Church Writers.  They are of varying importance.  Many were great Theologians, but also practicing Bishops, men who were deeply concerned with practical Christian living and pastoral matters.  Here we have added the often neglected Celtic believers to the mix.  

Some have greatly influenced historic Church teaching (Doctrine).  The foremost were acknowledged as "Doctors of the Church" (preeminent teachers).  Of this group (which includes The Venerable Bede, a monk who was the first English historian), eight particularly stand out.   From the Eastern Church: Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Basil the Great.  From the Western Church: Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory the Great.   

And of course in Celtic Christianity, none of whom were much for writing, but were tremendous examples in their lives and especially in their missionary zeal for evangelism, we are especially influenced by St. Patrick, Columcille (Columba), Aidan, and Columban (Columbanus).

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