An Alternative Model
The world is full of brilliant people with beautiful ideas. We started Patristica Press because we want to help those people spread their ideas without the fear of being abused.
In today's world, many publishing houses have adopted an exploitative business model in which the profit matters more people or planet. In this model, a typical author might receive only 7% of her book's profit and have almost zero input on her own book's title and cover design. Not only are authors exploited, but so is the planet. Many printers give little thought to their paper sources, and inadvertently contribute to mass deforestation, with its disastrous effects on local ecosystems and the global atmosphere. In manufacturing centers, many companies fail to give their workers fair wages and bargaining rights to improve working conditions.
We think that's a problem.
Our press is structured around the idea that every part of making a book is an ethical decision. We believe that paper and ink ought to be chosen with as much care as the words they will hold. We believe that authors and workers ought to be in control of their own work and receive fair wages. That's why Patristica Press is worker owned and operated and always will be. That's why we take great care to use recycled papers and animal-friendly inks. That's why our authors receive 65% of their books' profits and have direct input, every step of the way. That's why we only partner with eco- and worker-friendly manufacturers to make our merchandise.
Whether you are a customer or an author, you can rest assured that your decision made the world a better place.
What We Publish
Patristica Press is named intentionally, acknowledging the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition that has preceded us. Primarily, Patristica Press exists to honor that tradition by producing the wisest, clearest, and broadest ranging books on religion available today.
Though all three of the worker-owners of Patristica Press are Christians, we believe that authentic and critical faith requires listening to and learning from a diverse community of voices. We think it is important that Barth was instrumental in keeping Feuerbach in print, that Aquinas’ driving passion was synthesizing a Christian Aristotelianism, and that Thomas Merton hosted a Zen Buddhist Sangha. Therefore, Patristica Press does not solely exist to produce the best books on Christian theology, but also hopes to attract the world's wisest and most compelling writers from any number of religious or non-religious positions.
Beside contemporary broadness, we at Patristica Press believe that contemporary faith is impoverished without a vital connection to its predecessors. In a world where one of the only two dual-language editions of Augustine’s Confessions costs over $50 (the other is well over $200), Patristica Press exists to make serious critical study of ancient Christian theologians accessible to a broad, lay audience.
And, of course, we exist to produce the best and most transformative Christian theology and ethics books on the market. Though we encourage diversity in our authors, we will never print a book we are not proud of. You can trust that the Patristica label will consistently mean quality, depth, and readability.
Patristica Press produces books because we believe that inter-religious dialogue and education are good things. We recognize, however, that books aren’t the only way to achieve these goals. You might not have time to read a book, you might not be a natural reader, or you might not have the money to buy our books. For this reason, Patristica is devoted to using new media forms to make information and conversation on religion even more accessible.
You might already be familiar with Podcastica Patristica, a podcast hosted by Gerhard and Tylor that seeks to explain the world of the early church and bring it into conversation with contemporary issues. A second podcast, called Religion in America and hosted by Jake, is currently in the works. Both of these are free to access. Additionally, the three of us are in early stages of planning video materials to help spread discussion of religion provide further free access to ourselves and our authors. Patristica Press is committed to using all types of media, old and new, to further the critical-but-respectful study of religion.
Our first goal is to purchase our own printing and binding equipment, which will cost us a little less than $10,000. Purchasing our own equipment will allow us to ensure, without any shade of doubt, that all of our books are printed in the most ethically upstanding way possible. As much as possible of our initial income, including the entire proceeds of our first book Divine Providence: A Conversation, will be used to approach this goal. This is where you might help us.
We're not asking for donations (though you can support us through Patreon, for which you'll receive some exclusive monthly rewards), but it would help us tremendously if you would pre-order any books that sound interesting to you. Pre-orders are more important now than they will ever be again, since they allow us to run a printing of books to stock our shelves, which will in turn help us buy our equipment. If you are looking to help an exciting new business get started, and receive some of the best books on religion on the market in return, please consider pre-ordering Divine Providence or any of the other books in our online store.
We started Patristica Press because we think that the study of religion is important. In a culture where STEM professions are king and humanities departments struggle for legitimacy, we hope to remind our culture that religion isn’t going anywhere and that our religious beliefs, professed or unprofessed, shape the kind of people we are, the kind actions we perform, and the kind of society we create. It is our sincere hope that Patristica Press can help remind a materialistic culture that there’s more to the world than meets the eye.
In addition to reminding the world that religion and the way we talk about religion matters, we hope that the three of us and the authors we work with can model charitable and respectful dialogue among people with genuine disagreements. Though the three of us are all committed Christians, we believe it does no good when a person’s views are misrepresented or ridiculed. For this reason, we hope the Patristica Press can show the world what honest diversity and the coexistence of different opinions looks like.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about who we are and why we exist. If you’re interested in our materials, check out our store or our media section. If you’re especially generous and interested in helping us further our vision of honest, respectful dialogue about religion in a multifaith culture, consider supporting us on Patreon (there are goodies involved!). Regardless, we look forward to working with you in this project and couldn’t be more excited that, after months of hard work and planning, it’s finally materialized.