First published in 1989, A Cloud of Witnesses has been completely rewritten to incorporate a multitude of minor amendments and a considerable amount of additional information. Like the first edition, it is intended as an introduction to the formative first five hundred years of the Christian theological tradition. In these pages the opinions and personalities of the Fathers of the Church that emerge are presented against the intellectual, social, and political world of their times, but since the book is only an introduction, the author presents the development of Christian doctrine in a rather more logical and cohesive manner than was the case in reality.
David N. Bell is professor emeritus of religious studies and dean of theology at Queen's College, St. John's, Newfoundland, and canon theologian in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St. John's. He is the author of a number of books published by Cistercian Publications, including Handmaid of the Lord: Mary, the Cistercians, and Armand-Jean de Rancé (CS293, 2021), Everyday Life at La Trappe under Armand-Jean de Rancé (CS274, 2018), and A Saint in the Sun: Praising Saint Bernard in the France of Louis XIV (CS271, 2017).