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Two Millennia of Catholic Thought

Discover free chapters on Catholic thought and thinkers spanning two millennia, from the Early Church Fathers to John Henry Newman and modern-day thinking on heresy and philosophy.

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The Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325

A ten-volume compilation of lesser-known religious works from the early centuries of the Christian church, The Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325 is newly digitized and fully cross-searchable for the very first time, only in the Library of Catholic Thought. Ranging in scope from the works of the Apostolic Fathers to various third and fourth century sources, including the liturgies and ancient Syriac documents, these volumes serve as a fascinating historic exploration of some of the earliest works in Christian literary history. Explore all ten volumes here.

Find out more by reading Irenaeus Against Heresies: Book I from the first volume of The Ante-Nicene Fathers.

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John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman may be considered the most outstandingly original and creative English religious thinker of the nineteenth century. Though unsuccessful in most of his undertakings in the Catholic Church during his lifetime, his genius has increasingly come to be recognised after his death, and his influence is difficult to exaggerate. Avery Dulles’ account of Newman’s life and ideas is truly balanced and shows him to be as much a prophet for our times as he was for his own.

Find out more by reading this chapter from John Henry Newman on Faith and Reason.

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A Handbook of Heresies

M. L. Cozens’ reference work A Handbook of Heresies examines all the major forms of heresy in the history of Catholicism. From Ebionism and Gnosticism in the early centuries of the Christian epoch to Modernism at the beginning of the twentieth century, this work explores the idea of heresy lucidly, dispassionately, and with great detail. Lesser heresies are treated briefly in an appendix, making the book as a whole remarkably comprehensive for its size, and a uniquely useful manual that is digitally available exclusively in the Library of Catholic Thought.

Find out more by reading this chapter on Gnosticism as heresy.

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Philosophy of Religion: A Guide to the Subject

Authoritative and accessible, this book is a concise and comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of religion, exploring the ways in which philosophers have used the tools of philosophy to examine the validity of religious ideas and values. Distinguished authors in the field explain how philosophers of the past and present have approached key concepts of religious faith, examining in particular the place of such faith in a post-Enlightenment, postmodern, scientific age in which different faith traditions coexist and make claims to the ownership of external truths. As a result, this book is an essential reader and reference for scholars, teachers, and students of religion, as well as for anyone who seeks to answer key questions challenging the life of faith today.

Find out more by reading Julius Lipner’s chapter ‘Philosophy and World Religions’ here.

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