I am currently reading Faith of Our Fathers: Why the Early Christians Still Matter and Always Will by Mike Aquilina. This is an incredibly informative book and I am learning a LOT from it. My review of this book will be posted in the coming days.
Today I decided to contact Mike and share my thoughts on this book with him. During our email exchange he graciously agreed to answer a few questions for an interview that I could share with my readers. If you are reading this Mike, I sincerely appreciate the time you spent with me today. I also encourage everyone to visit his website and check out some of the multiple books he has written.
PETE: What inspired you to start writing books?
MIKE AQUILINA: It wasn’t so much inspiration as invitation. When I was young, an elderly scholar asked me to help him write a memoir. I accepted the invitation, and I got hooked. A few years later, Bob Lockwood at Our Sunday Visitor asked me to consider writing books for the Catholic press.
PETE: How many hours of research went into writing Faith of Our Fathers?
MIKE AQUILINA: My life, really. Studying the Fathers isn’t something I’ve done on the clock. It’s something I’ve done compulsively for decades now.
PETE: You seem to have become an authority on the Early Christians with a growing volume of books on the subject. In addition to the four books you recommend in Faith of Our Fathers, what further reading would you suggest for those just starting their journey into the Early Fathers?
MIKE AQUILINA: Read the Fathers! Start with the Apostolic Fathers. I like the new translations by Kenneth Howell. Get to know these men and then proceed to the next generations — Justin and the Apologists, Perpetua’s diary, Irenaeus and Hippolytus. Read them chronologically, and you’ll see a story unfolding.
PETE: Of all the books you have written, what was the most enjoyable to write and why?
MIKE AQUILINA: Probably The Fathers of the Church, because it required an encounter with each of the Fathers, his works and his historical background. But I also loved Signs and Mysteries, my study of ancient Christian art, because it was my chance to work with an outstanding contemporary artist. All of my co-authored books — with Christopher Bailey, Scott Hahn, David Scott, Cardinal Wuerl, Dion DiMucci, Fr. Kris Stubna, Fr. Juan Velez, Ken Ogorek — have been a joy because my co-authors have been good friends and companions.
PETE: For those interested in your books in particular, what titles would you recommend they put near the top of their “to read” list?
MIKE AQUILINA: The Fathers of the Church, The Mass of the Early Christians, Roots of the Faith, and Signs and Mysteries. In each of these I tried to open windows on the ancient world.
PETE: In closing, this is a blog about books. What is currently on your bookshelf to read?
MIKE AQUILINA: James Papandrea’s Reading the Early Church Fathers and Trinity 101; Peter Leithart’s Defending Constantine; and Joseph Carola’s Augustine of Hippo.
Thanks again Mike and I look forward to reading and reviewing another of your books in the near future!