On the Church׃ Select Letters #33

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St Cyprian of Carthage
Translation with Introduction and Commentary by Allen Brent
Publication Data: Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2006
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 248
Dimensions (l × w × h): 18.4 cm × 12.7 cm × 1.7 cm
ISBN: 0‒88141‒313‒5
ISBN: 978‒0‒88141‒313‒7

St Cyprian of Carthage
Translation with Introduction and Commentary by Allen Brent

A volume of On the Church
Number 33 of Popular Patristics Series

“Cyprian was the great publicist who argued his theory of church unity with such success that it achieved almost universal acceptance before the European Reformation. To be a member of the Church that is the body of Christ you needed to be in communion with a priest who was in communion with a bishop who in turn was in communion with all other bishops in the world. But how could you tell or decide? And on what kind of issue would it be right for dioceses to break off communion with each other, or to threaten to do so? Were there not other kinds of self-authenticating ministries, like those of martyrs and confessors who had suffered for the Faith? And did the Church not need, and in what form, a universal bishop who could guarantee the integrity of the network of bishops? These were the questions with which Cyprian wrestled and to which he sought to give answers in his selected works translated in this book and in its companion volume, On the Church: Select Treatises.... They are questions that continue to be asked in the contemporary Church.”


§1 The Crisis from the Decian Persecution
   Letter 8: Roman Presbyters Criticise Cyprian on His Flight
   Letter 13: Questionable Practices of Some Confessors
   Letter 15: Presbyters and Deacons Who Fail the Martyrs
   Letter 16: Martyrs and Confessors Who Fail the Church
   Letter 21: Celerinus Seeks Absolution for His Sisters
   Letter 22: Lucianus Replies for the Corporate Body
   Letter 23: Lucianus Grants General Absolution by the Martyrs
   Letter 24: Caldonius Consults Cyprian on Difficult Cases
   Letter 27: Cyprian Replies to the Claims of Lucianus
   Letter 33: Cyprian, in Response to an Anonymous Document
   Letter 38: The Confessor Aurelius Is Ordained Reader
   Letter 39: Celerinus Joins Cyprian’s Side and Is Made Reader
§2 The Unity of the Church and the Nature of Schism
   Letter 43: The Origin and Character of the Schism of Felicissimus
   Letter 55: The Origin and Character of the Novatian Schism
   Letter 59: Troubles with Felicissimus: Cyprian Criticizes Pope Cornelius
§3 Controversies on the Eucharist and Baptism
   Letter 63: The Nature of Holy Communion
   Letter 72: Stephen and the Baptismal Controversy
   Letter 73: Rebaptism: the Novatian Dimension
   Letter 75: Rebaptism: Firmilian’s Approving Reply
§4 The End: Cyprian’s Account of His Final Days
   Letter 80: Valerian’s Rescript
   Letter 81: Cyprian Awaits His Final Sentence
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