Church Fathers

Group of ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers who established the intellectual and doctrinal foundations of Christianity. The historical period in which they worked became known as the Patristic Era and spans approximately from the late 1st to mid-8th centuries,[lower-alpha 1] flourishing in particular during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Christianity was in the process of establishing itself as the state church of the Roman Empire.

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The Church Fathers, an 11th-century Kievan Rus' miniature from Svyatoslav's miscellany

For many denominations of Christianity, the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Nicene Fathers and Post-Nicene Fathers are included in Sacred Tradition.[1] As such, in traditional dogmatic theology, authors considered Church Fathers are treated as authoritative for the establishment of doctrine.[2][3] The academic field of patristics, the study of the Church Fathers, has extended the scope of the term, and there is no definitive list.[4][5][better source needed] Some, such as Origen and Tertullian, made major contributions to the development of later Christian theology, but certain elements of their teaching were later condemned.

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