Tertullian

Tertullian (Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus) (tûrtŭl´yən), c.160–c.230, Roman theologian and Christian apologist, b. Carthage. He was the son of a centurion and was well educated, especially in law. Converted to Christianity c.197, he became the most formidable defender of the faith in his day. His Latin is vigorous and effective and reflects his juridical training. Sentences of his that have become proverbial are "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church," and "It is certain because it is impossible" (often quoted incorrectly as "I believe it because it is impossible" ). Some of Tertullian's opinions differed from the main stream of Christian thought, particularly his more rigorous view of sin and its forgiveness. After long defending the Montanists (see Montanism), he left the church (213) to join them; he later established his own sect, known as Tertullianists. Tertullian's most important writings are Apologeticus, Ad Nationes, and De Praescriptione.

See studies by T. D. Barnes (1971) and R. D. Sider (1971).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Tertullian, Apology, de Spectaculis
T. R. Glover; Tertullian.
W. Heinemann, Ltd., 1931
Treatises on Penance: On Penitence and on Purity
William P. Le Saint; Tertullian.
Newman Press, 1959
The Treatise against Hermogenes
J. H. Waszink; Tertullian.
Newman Press, 1956
Apologetics in the Roman Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians
Mark J. Edwards; Martin Goodman; Simon Price; Christopher Rowland.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Latin Christian Apologetics: Minucius Felix, Tertullian, and Cyprian"
Church, Book, and Bishop: Conflict and Authority in Early Latin Christianity
Peter Iver Kaufman.
Westview Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Tertullian"
The Church in Ancient Society: From Galilee to Gregory the Great
Henry Chadwick.
Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 17 "Tertullian, Minucius Felix"
Documents Illustrating Papal Authority, A.D. 96-454
E. Giles.
S.P.C.K., 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Tertullian"
The Study of Spirituality
Cheslyn Jones; Geoffrey Wainwright; Edward Yarnold.
Oxford University Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: "Tertullian and Cyprian" begins on p. 109
The Early Christian World
Philip F. Esler.
Routledge, vol.2, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Forty "Tertullian"
Tertullian's Pandora and John Milton's the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce
Butler, George F.
Christianity and Literature, Vol. 52, No. 3, Spring 2003
Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals
Andrew McGowan.
Clarendon Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Marcion, Tertullian, and Montanism" begins on p. 164
From Feasting to Fasting, the Evolution of a Sin: Attitudes to Food in Late Antiquity
Veronika E. Grimm.
Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Food and Fasting in the Works of Tertullian"
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