Understandings of the Church explores the ways imagery is used by biblical writers and early Christian teachers such as Cyprian, Ignatius of Antioch, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen to describe the concept of church. Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources is a series designed to present ancient Christian texts essential to an understanding of Christian theology, ecclesiology, and practice. The books in the series will make the wealth of early Christian thought available to new generations of students of theology and provide a valuable resource for the church. Developed in light of recent patristic scholarship, the volumes will provide a representative sampling of theological contributions from both East and West.The volumes of the series are relevant for a variety of courses from introduction to theology to classes on doctrine and the development of Christian thought. The goal of each volume is not to be exhaustive, but rather representative enough to denote for a nonspecialist audience the multivalent character of early Christian thought, allowing readers to see how and why early Christian doctrine and practice developed the way it did.