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A comprehensive and timely survey of the application of the methods of quantum field theory to statistical physics, a very active and fruitful area of modern research, is provided in two volumes. The first volume provides a pedagogical introduction to the subject, discussing Brownian motion, its anticommutative counterpart in the guise of Onsager's solution to the two-dimensional Ising model, the mean field or Landau approximation, scaling ideas exemplified by the Kosterlitz-Thouless theory for the XY transition, the continuous renormalization group applied to the standard phi-to-the-fourth theory (the simplest typical case) and lattice gauge theory as a pathway to the understanding of quark confinement in quantum chromodynamics.