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Early Christianity and Patristics: Subject Guides


This subsection offers short guides for various research topics related to the study of ancient Christianity. 

Searching by Subject

Searching the keywords "early Christianity" in Orbis yields 10,000+ results. Use "subject browse" instead to find relevant materials more efficiently. 

Subject Browse searches only Library of Congress (LC) subject headings. These subject headings organize books by their object of study. 

But take care. You do not decide LC subject headings, LC does. For example, "early Christianity" is not a subject heading. You want instead "Church History--Primitive and early Church, ca. 30-600."

Consequently, when conducting research compose a list of useful LC subject headings. Certain methods will help you find relevant headings:

  • Orbis "subject browse" searches always provide alternative results. Use these to expand your headings vocabulary. 
    • Narrower Term suggestions provide sub-categories for larger LC subject headings. 
  • Combine known headings, with double dashes in between (--), to increase specificity. To use the earlier example, add --Sources to get: Church History--Primitive and early Church, ca. 30-600–-Sources. This lowers your results from 4,000+ to roughly 200. 
  • Orbis Holdings Information for individual books list "subjects" at the end.