Antiochian Ortodox Church by The Divine Liturgy.

By The Divine Liturgy.

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Eschatological themes comprise yet another more or less standard segment of major treatises, some authors injecting such topics as repentance and intercession. Most important works also analyze theologically critical aspects of the doctrine of the “imamate,” with a host of implications for religiously legitimated authority as embodied in political institutions. In addition, polemical responses to the views of competing or “heretical” factions and non-Muslim groups alike sometimes receive considerable attention.

When Muslim scholars began the daunting task of amassing a definitive collection of Hadith to commit to writing, they confronted the complex challenge of distinguishing authentic sayings from inauthentic. Instead of beginning with the body (matn) of a given Hadith, they sifted through the names of the transmitters credited with preserving the saying. Reasoning that the chain could be only as strong as its weakest link, the scholars looked for names of individuals known for their tendentious views or, in some cases, downright dishonesty.

35–107), Clement of Rome (fl. c. 96), and Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69–155), articulated the new faith of their local communities. , the apologists turned their energies to defending the new tradition and presenting it to outsiders. They were particularly concerned with describing it in terms congenial to Hellenistic philosophy and responding to criticism from Jews. Among the most influential apologists were Justin Martyr (c. 110–65) and Tertullian of Carthage (c. 9 Introduction | 5 Major Christian thinkers as late as the thirteenth century were named “Fathers of the Church,” but the honorific has come to be associated almost exclusively with key figures of the second through eighth centuries.

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