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We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of…
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We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians (utgåvan 2007)

av Carl J. Sommer (Författare)

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An in-depth study of the faith and life of the early Christians in the first two centuries after Christ. Using documentary evidence and archaeological records, he reconstructs the lives of early Christians in order to introduce the treasures of early Christians to modern readers.
Medlem:GriswoldFam
Titel:We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians
Författare:Carl J. Sommer (Författare)
Info:Ignatius Press (2007), 457 pages
Samlingar:Popes/Ecclesiology/Church History
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We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians av Carl J. Sommer

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We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians is a splendid work. Written with a strong pastoral purpose, Carl Sommer’s book reconstructs the lives of Christians from A.D. 100 to 313, the period following the death of the Apostle John up to the Edict of Milan, which proclaimed official toleration for all religions, including Christianity. While scrupulously footnoted, We Look for a Kingdom is written for a popular audience, and scholars of this period are unlikely to encounter anything new in the book. The author’s achievement lies in manner he has assembled his material into a highly readable history that brings to life the Roman world in which the early Church had to navigate.

One of the book’s strengths is that the first third is devoted to an overview of life throughout the Roman Empire in the second and third centuries. It is in this often violent and pitiless world that Sommer then places the adherents of the new faith. Sommer discusses several factors that allowed the Church to spread and finally triumph, but by far the most important of these was the example of ordinary believers—their courage, faithfulness, and charity in a world that saw nothing wrong in throwing human beings to wild beasts as part of an afternoon’s entertainment. In this kind of world, the society described by Mathetes around A.D. 200 presented itself, even without evangelism, as something yet unseen in human history: “They [the Christians] dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners…They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives” (p. 105).

We Look for a Kingdom is written from a Catholic point of view. In the introduction, the author states his conviction that “the first Christians were essentially Catholic in their outlook.” Sommer is clear in his belief that the ancient Church’s teachings on baptism, the Eucharist, veneration of saints, and prayers for the departed were Catholic, and that on these and these other doctrines, “the Evangelical position is simply wrong” (p. 122).

With We Look for a Kingdom, Carl Sommer has produced an outstanding history that successfully conveys why people of all classes, including those with most to lose, were willing to risk everything to follow and emulate an executed peasant from an obscure corner of the empire, who “when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2: 23). The book would be an excellent choice for a high school or adult study group.

(Published in Catholic Library World, September 2008)
  eumaeus | Sep 29, 2008 |
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An in-depth study of the faith and life of the early Christians in the first two centuries after Christ. Using documentary evidence and archaeological records, he reconstructs the lives of early Christians in order to introduce the treasures of early Christians to modern readers.

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