Drobner, Hubertus R. The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction: With Bibliographies Updated and Expanded for the English Edition by William Harmless, and Hubertus R. Drobner. Translated by Siegfried S. Schatzmann. English ed. ed. Originally published as Lehrbuch der Patrologie. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1994. Repr. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007. lvi + 632 pp.
Drobner’s textbook is not a comprehensive dictionary, perhaps not even a comprensive introduction. It is a textbook as the German title indicates. Drobner provides very helpful introductions to the first eight centuries and to the most important Church fathers. A number of those who have written on Revelation are not included, however, e.g., Victorinus of Petovio and Caesarius of Arles.
The English edition is more than a translation, as the subtitle states. A helpful review by Vilhelm Pratscher (pdf) is published by Review of Biblical Literature. The Table of Contents of the English edition is provided by the Library of Congress.
In his amazon.com review, Dr. William Varner, the author of The Way of the Didache: The First Christian Handbook, questions whether it is really “a comprehensive introduction,” as most entries on the church fathers are covered in only one or two pages.
Nevertheless, Varner concludes:
This volume will become THE source to be consulted for “further reading” about the Fathers. But if the reader is looking for an introduction to the thought of the fathers, he can be better served by the old classic, Patrology by Johannes Quasten, or even better by the recent two volume work by .