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Chapter Summary

New emphases on diversity of thought and practice, and on the experiences and beliefs of Christians other than the great theologians, have accompanied more and deeper attention to a variety of ancient texts beyond those previously regarded as useful or revealing, as well as to material evidence. The early Christian theologians were interpreters of an inherited philosophical tradition, which appears prominently in this book. The symbols and signs by means of which God both reveals and is revealed are addressed explicitly in this chapter. The most important set of signs is scripture itself. The chapter employs language of ?orthodoxy" but revises the terms as it does so, giving due recognition to the fundamental nexus between appropriate doctrine and appropriate practice-a position perhaps common across different doctrines and practices in ancient times, however uniformly neglected under modernity.

Keywords: early Christian theologians; God; linguistic signs; philosophical tradition; religious practice



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