John McGuckin, The Ascent of Christian Law. Creestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2012, 340 pages.

Patristic and Byzantine Formulations of a New Civilization

This work asks the question: “What did Christianity do to build a civilization”? In the present age, law has been used energetically to micro-manage human societies, values, and aspirations. But did law work that way in antiquity?

This little book is some form of answer. It is a book on law and legal thought as it emerged in its formative ages of the Christian past; it asks what the ancient writers and theorists did with law and legal thought. It is part history, part philosophy, and more than anything else an introduction to issues of law and legal adjudication in t he Patristic and Byzantine eras.

John McGuckin is Professor of Early Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York, Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies at Columbia University, and author of two previous SVS Press books.

ISBN 978-0-88141-403-5