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Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art & Archaeology

August 10, 2016

After some 20 years in preparation and promise, a major reference work will appear this Autumn:  The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology, ed. Paul Corby Finney (publisher’s online catalogue entry here).  It’s a three-volume work, and the price tag ($495 US) means that it will likely be acquired primarily by libraries.  So, recommend it to your library; and, if you get an offer from a rich uncle, you could mention this for your Christmas present!

I wrote the entry on the “nomina sacra” for this work originally sometime back in the mid-90s.  Another publisher was originally lined up, and I revised and updated my entry expecting the work to appear in 1999, and then again in 2013.  But then, silence till just a week or two ago.  It’s still not out yet, but I take it that publication is secure, scheduled for November.

This is surely one of the longer sagas of publication projects in the field, and Finney must be even more glad than any of us contributors to be done with it!  Although I haven’t seen any of it beyond my own entry, I am fairly confident that this will be a distinctively valuable reference work on early Christianity.  So if you’re at all interested in the visual and material expressions of early Christianity, you’ll want to take this work into account.

Finney is a senior figure in early Christian art, perhaps most well known for his book, The Invisible God:  The Earliest Christians on Art (Oxford University Press, 1994).

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  1. Hello, I saw that you are coming to Lanier Theological Library to give a seminar. I found it fascinating that you are an American but you taught in the UK. How in the world did that come about? I have thought about doing something like that.

    • My academic career started in Canada, including 18 yrs in the University of Manitoba. I was then offered the chair of NT here in Edinburgh in 1996. I was more surprised than my critics, likely!

  2. So this will be a major reference work with articles at least 15 years out of date?

    • No, sorry for the confusion: I also updated my piece (and I presume other contributors did also) in 2013.

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