St. Cyprian, the 3rd-century bishop of Carthage, developed a theory of church unity almost universally accepted up to the European Reformation. In order to be a member of the Body of Christ you needed to be in communion with a priest who was also in communion with a church bishop, who in turn was in communion with all the other bishops of the world. But, how could you discern who was a legitimate bishop, and what issues legitimated the breaking off this communion? Additionally, could self-authenticating ministries supersede this order, and did the Church need a universal bishop who could guarantee the integrity of the network of bishops? St. Cyprian wrestled with these questions in his letters and treatises, here selected and translated in these companion volumes. These companion volumes are of ultimate value to the current state of Christendom as they contain questions that continue to arise in various forms in the contemporary Church.
About the Popular Patristics Series The Popular Patristics series published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press provides readable and accurate translations of a broad range of early Christian literature to a wide audience--from students of Christian history to lay Christians reading for spiritu7al benefit.
Recognized Patristic scholars provide short but comprehensive and clear introductory essays according to their specializations for each volume.
Texts include classics of Christian literature, thematic volumes, homily collections, letters, spiritual guidance, and poetical works from a wide variety geographical contexts and historical backgrounds. The purpose of the series is to mine the riches of the early church and to make these invaluable writings available to all.
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