The study of the Patristic era makes up a basic part of the discipline of Church History. It is concerned with the period of the institutionalization of Catholic Christianity, the development of regulated dogmatic positions, and the transformation of Christianity from an anti-state cult to an ideological foundation for state power.

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The Patristic period stretches from the end of Apostolic Age (around the year 100) to the early Middle Ages (the 600s). The study of Patristics embraces church historical developments within the Latin, Greek, and Oriental areas.