Von Campenhausen, Hans. Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Church of the First Three Centuries. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997. First Edition, First Printing. ISBN: 1565632729.
Gray cloth, 5 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches, former owner's signature on ffep, rest clean and unmarked. 308 pp. Dj very good with minor shelf-wear. Fine in very good dust-jacket. Hardcover. 
The issue of authority in the church - what constitutes authority, and who has it - has been one of the foremost issues throughout church history, including the modern church. The practice of the early church and the writings of the New Testament are of primary importance for understanding the problem of authority. We can enhance our understanding further by taking into consideration the sociological phenomena surrounding any emergent social group that traverses a path from charismatic leadership to formal governing structures.
Von Campenhausen's masterful blending of historical assessment with sociological analysis makes this work a fundamental resource for the study of the development of the early church and the writings of the New Testament.
"This is a fine book which demonstrates the author's deep learning and his grasp of the whole complex history of the Church in the first three centuries. . . . Within the limits he has set for himself, however, the author has written a work of great value and significance. A wealth of topics, including the development of the Church's penitential discipline and the power of the Keys as a factor in arousing the self-awareness of the clergy, receive the stamp of his erudition. In days when authority remains one of the divisive elements in Christendom, theologians of all traditions will find this work indispensable." - W. H. C. Frend, Journal of Ecclesiastical History.