In an earlier post, I mentioned The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction (amazon.com) by Hubertus Drobner, translated by Siegfried Schatzmann.
Like Mike Aquilina, a copy arrived for me today! Many thanks to Hendrickson for sending it along. And it looks wonderful. The bibliographies look great (full, and sectioned into sections like 'Editions', 'Bibliographies', 'Dictionaries' and stuff like that). So you get an idea of what the book is about, here's the last paragraph of the Preface to the English Edition:
It [the book] is not a "manual" that intends to cover the entire field in all its details. It is a textbook that presents an overview of the most important authors, works and themes, imbedded in their historical, political, and ecclesiastical background. For everything beyond this basic aim, the numerous bibliographical data given serve to point the way to further and more specialized studies. (Drobner xvi)
Here's a link to the Table of Contents. Here's a link to the Introduction. Here's a link to a sample chapter. And here's the blurb from Hendrickson:
Good, solid, contemporary introductions to patristic authors and writings are difficult to find in the English-speaking world, and European volumes are expensive. This volume, which is Siegfried Schatzmann’s translation of Lehrbuch der Patrologie, offers English-speaking readers easy access to Hubertus R. Drobner’s traditional introduction to early Christian thought.
Hubertus R. Drobner brings patristics scholarship up to date in this traditional introduction. His work is sufficiently broad to be a useful summary of early Christian history and the expansive strokes of doctrinal debate and development and provides a clear presentation of early Christian thought.
Drobner introduces new materials throughout this recently updated edition of his handbook. A general map and several timetables add to the clarity of the volume.
The Fathers of the Church is valuable in its presentation of contemporary studies and views. Patristics students will benefit from this dependable overview of early Christian texts, and scholars and libraries will appreciate the extensive bibliography, indexes, and other resources.
Here's a somewhat abbreviated Table of Contents:
Introduction: Patrology as Subject
Part One: Apostolic and Postapostolic Literature
Introduction: The Rise of Christian Literature
Chapter One: Biblical Apocrypha
Chapter Two: Postapostolic Literature
Part Two: Literature of the Period of Persecution (Mid-Second to Early Fourth Centuries)
Introduction: The Impact of Persecution
Chapter Three: Greek Literature
Chapter Four: Beginnings of Latin Literature
Part Three: Literature of the Ascending Imperial Church (Early Fourth Century to ca. 430)
Introduction: Essential Features of the History of the Fourth Century
Chapter Five: First Phase of Arianism
Chapter Six: Apollinarianism and the Second Phase of Arianism
Chapter Seven: Pastors, Exegetes and Ascetics
Chapter Eight: Monastic and Hagiographic Literature
Chapter Nine: Augustine of Hippo
Part Four: Literature of the Transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages (ca. 430 to the Mid-Eighth Century)
Introduction: Retrospective Collections and Progressive Works
Chapter Ten: Theological Controversies of the Fifth Century
Chapter Eleven: Literature of the Latin West
Chapter Twelve: Literature of the Greek East
Part Five: Literature of the Christian East
Chapter Thirteen: Independent Bodies of Literature
All in all, it looks wonderful and also looks to be a great counterpart to Moreschini and Norelli's Early Greek and Latin Literature: A Literary History (amazon.com); though Drobner looks to have more information on area it treats (Patristic Literature) and the bibliographies look more complete and, at least in the English translation, more geared toward English readers.
Updated: I've begun a series as I read the book.