Theological Literature

Andrew Louth

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Theological Literature

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  • Middle Eastern Languages



Theological literature encompasses almost every literary genre, along with genres peculiar to theology, including hagiography and the homily. In addition, there are genres with a distinctively theological form. Two such genres, the chronicle and the church history, appear to be the invention of Eusebios of Caesarea (c.260-c.340), and may be interpreted as a development of the apology, or defence of Christianity against Graeco-Roman paganism (and, to a lesser extent, Judaism). The Scriptures occupy a central place in all theological literature. A good deal of theological literature is polemical, intended against those who challenged Christian orthodoxy. The decisions, doctrinal definitions, and disciplinary canons of the church councils form another genre of theological literature. Two other genres of theological literature from the Byzantium Era are poetry and prayer.

Keywords: literary genre; theological literature; Byzantium Era; poetry; prayer; Scriptures; homily; Christianity; Christian orthodoxy; church councils

Article.  3728 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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