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Church Fathers
(2,202 words)

1. Definition

In Christian thought since the eighth century, a church father (pater ecclesiae) is a teacher living within the first seven centuries (eight among the Greeks) whose teaching the church has recognized as orthodox (Early Church). The four basic requirements have been orthodox doctrine, sanctity of life, agreement with the church, and antiquity. (For someone to be named a doctor of the church, outstanding learning is further required.) As the medi…

Cite this page
Grant, Robert M., “Church Fathers”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 04 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_C728>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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