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Popular Patristics Series (20 vols.)
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The Popular Patristics Series provides readable and accurate translations of a broad range of early Christian literature to a wide audience—from students of Christian history to lay Christians reading for spiritual benefit. Recognized Patristic scholars provide short but comprehensive and clear introductory essays according to their specializations for each volume. Texts include classics of Christian literature, thematic volumes, homily collections, letters, spiritual guidance, and poetical works from a wide variety of geographical contexts and historical backgrounds. The purpose of the series is to mine the riches of the early church and to make these invaluable writings available to all.

With the Logos Bible Software edition, you can reap the maximum benefit from the Popular Patristics Series by getting easier access to the contents of the collection—helping you use these volumes more effectively for scholarly pursuits, sermon preparation, or personal study. Every word from every book is indexed and catalogued to help you search the entire series for a particular verse or topic. For example, you can search the letters written by St. Cyprian for every instance of the word “baptism.”

  • Examines the work of the early church to show the solid foundation current belief rests on
  • Provides accurate translations of early Christian literature
  • Includes extensive introductions and bibliographies

On Social Justice

  • Author: St. Basil the Great
  • Translator: C. Paul Schroeder
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 111

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

St. Basil’s homilies on the subject of wealth and poverty, although delivered in the fourth century, remain utterly fresh and contemporary. Whether you possess great wealth or have modest means, at the heart of St. Basil’s message stands the maxim: simplify your life, so you have something to share with others.

While some patristic texts relate to obscure and highly philosophical questions, St. Basil’s teachings on social issues are immediately understood and applicable. At a time when vast income disparity and overuse of limited environmental resources are becoming matters of increasing concern, St. Basil’s message is more relevant now than ever before.

There is no way to describe the power, simplicity, wisdom, and freedom of his words . . . you will think they were written yesterday—not 1,600 years ago! Precisely he describes our modern struggle with material wealth, our responsibility to our fellow man, and how to live a life in balance.

—Gregory P. Yova, from the foreword

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, (330 – January 1, 379) was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. He was an influential 4th century Christian theologian and monastic. Theologically, Basil was a supporter of the Nicene faction of the church, in opposition to Arianism on one side and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea on the other.

C. Paul Schroeder is an independent scholar and translator of early patristic texts. He resides in Portland, Oregon and is Proistamenos of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral there.

On the Human Condition

  • Author: St. Basil the Great
  • Translator: Nonna Verna Harrison
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 128

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

This informative and enjoyable volume serves as a valuable introduction to major themes in Greek Patristic anthropology—the image of God in the human form, the Fall of humanity, and the cause of evil—and brings together the main writings of St Basil the Great, fourth-century archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, on these subjects. St. Basil deftly addresses the questions posed by the human condition with characteristic clarity and sobriety. He formulates a balance between humility grounded in our creation from the earth and confidence based on the dignity of being created according to God’s image.

In addition to two discourses on the creation of humanity, this volume includes Letter 233 to Amphilochius of Iconium, St. Basil’s spiritual son. It is a succinct and pointed discussion regarding the functions of the human mind, the activity for which God created it, and how it can be used for good, evil, or morally neutral purposes. This letter complements the discussion of emotions in St. Basil’s “Homily against Anger,” also included in this volume.

Finally, the book includes excerpts from St Basil’s fatherly instructions to his ascetic communities, commonly known as the “Long Rules” or the “Great Asceticon,” which emphasize the communal dimension of human identity: humans are naturally interrelated, social, and interdependent.

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, (330 – January 1, 379) was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. He was an influential 4th century Christian theologian and monastic. Theologically, Basil was a supporter of the Nicene faction of the church, in opposition to Arianism on one side and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea on the other.

Nonna Verna Harrison is assistant professor of church history at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. Among the numerous theological articles she has authored is “Human Uniqueness and Human Unity,” in Abba: The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West.

On the Church: Select Treatises

  • Author: St. Cyprian of Carthage
  • Translator: Allen Brent
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 188

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

St. Cyprian, third-century bishop of Carthage, developed a theory of church unity almost universally accepted up to the European Reformation: to be a member of the body of Christ you needed to be in communion with a priest who was in communion with a bishop who in turn was in communion with all other bishops in the world. But, how could you discern who was a legitimate bishop? And, on what kind of issue would it be right to break off communion? Additionally, could self-authenticating ministries, like those of martyrs and confessors who had suffered for the faith, supersede this order? Finally, did the Church need, and in what form, a universal bishop who could guarantee the integrity of the network of bishops?

St. Cyprian wrestled with these questions in his letters and treatises. Each volume contains an introduction to the two principal controversies that spurred St. Cyprian to write his defense on church unity: first, the readmission to the Eucharist of those Christians who had lapsed or fallen in the persecution under Emperor Decius; and second, the sacramental validity of baptism in heretical and schismatic communities. This volume contains an introduction to the life and controversies of St. Cyprian. It includes the following treatises:

  • To Donatus
  • To Demetrian
  • The Fallen (De Lapsis)
  • The Unity of the Catholic Church (De catholicae ecclesiae unitate)

Cyprian of Carthage (AD 200–258) was an important early Christian writer. He was born in North Africa, received a classical education, and became a leading member of the legal fraternity in Carthage. He converted to Christianity as a middle-aged man and was baptized circa AD 245. Upon his baptism he gave a large portion of his wealth to the poor, among whom he was always popular. He became bishop of Carthage in AD 249. Under his leadership the Church in Carthage endured multiple periods of persecution. Cyprian consolidated his popularity with moderate, yet firm policies on reconciling recanters to the Church. In AD 256, a particularly severe wave of persecution called for the execution of all Christian clergy, culminating in Cyprian’s martyrdom in AD 258. A number of his pastoral epistles and treatises survive, including his most important work, On the Unity of the Church, in which he famously states “He can no longer have God for his father who has not the Church for his mother.”

Allen Brent is professor of early Christian history and literature at Edmund’s College, Cambridge.

On the Church: Select Letters

  • Author: St. Cyprian of Carthage
  • Translator: Allen Brent
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 250

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

St. Cyprian, third-century bishop of Carthage, developed a theory of church unity almost universally accepted up to the European Reformation: to be a member of the Body of Christ you needed to be in communion with a priest who was in communion with a bishop who in turn was in communion with all other bishops in the world. But, how could you discern who was a legitimate bishop? And, on what kind of issue would it be right to break off communion? Additionally, could self-authenticating ministries, like those of martyrs and confessors who had suffered for the faith, supersede this order? Finally, did the Church need, and in what form, a universal bishop who could guarantee the integrity of the network of bishops?

St. Cyprian wrestled with these questions in his letters and treatises. Each volume contains an introduction to the two principal controversies that spurred St. Cyprian to write his defense on church unity: first, the readmission to the Eucharist of those Christians who had lapsed or fallen in the persecution under Emperor Decius; and second, the sacramental validity of baptism in heretical and schismatic communities. This volume contains various letters on the following subjects:

  • The Crisis from the Decian Persecution
  • The Unity of the Church and the Nature of Schism
  • Controversies on the Eucharist and Baptism
  • The End: Cyprian’s Account of His Final Days

Cyprian of Carthage (AD 200–258) was an important early Christian writer. He was born in North Africa, received a classical education, and became a leading member of the legal fraternity in Carthage. He converted to Christianity as a middle-aged man and was baptized circa AD 245. Upon his baptism he gave a large portion of his wealth to the poor, among whom he was always popular. He became bishop of Carthage in AD 249. Under his leadership the Church in Carthage endured multiple periods of persecution. Cyprian consolidated his popularity with moderate, yet firm policies on reconciling recanters to the Church. In AD 256, a particularly severe wave of persecution called for the execution of all Christian clergy, culminating in Cyprian’s martyrdom in AD 258. A number of his pastoral epistles and treatises survive, including his most important work, On the Unity of the Church, in which he famously states “He can no longer have God for his father who has not the Church for his mother.”

Allen Brent is professor of early Christian history and literature at Edmund’s College, Cambridge.

On the Apostolic Tradition

  • Author: Hippolytus
  • Translator: Alistair Stewart-Sykes
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 244

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Apostolic Tradition, as this text is best known, was identified in the early years of the twentieth century as the work of Hippolytus, a Christian leader from third-century Rome. The text provides liturgical information of great antiquity, and as such has been massively influential on liturgical study and reform, especially in Western churches.

Nonetheless, there have been a number of problems surrounding the text. The attribution to Hippolytus has never been universally accepted; much of the text remained obscure, published without commentary; finally, no adequate English version has been published since 1937. On the Apostolic Tradition seeks to solve these problems. The introduction brings the debate concerning authorship to a new level while the rest of the text is accompanied by lucid commentary. Together with a fresh translation, the book brings light to formerly obscure passages, clears critical impasses, and provides new discoveries. It is a significant and important piece of research, enlightening and eminently readable.

Stewart-Sykes has produced a timely and highly significant contribution. . . . Unravel[s] the complexities . . . surrounding the foundational Western liturgy, and produce[s] a very compelling solution to the Hippolytan problems.

Allen Brent, senior member, St. Edmund College, Cambridge

Hippolytus of Rome (AD 170–235) was perhaps the most important theologian of the third century. He was a presbyter of the Church of Rome, where he came into conflict with Popes Zephyrinus, Callixtus, and Urban I, and was elected as a rival bishop of Rome—thereby being considered by some as the first antipope. He was exiled to Sardinia in AD 235, and likely reconciled to the Church before his martyrdom later that year. He is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Philosophumena is considered his principal work, and he is also credited with the earliest Christian interpretation of the Song of Songs.

Alistair Stewart-Sykes is a leading scholar of Christian liturgical origins. The author of numerous books and articles on early Christianity and its liturgy, he had retired from teaching and is a vicar in the Diocese of Salisbury, England.

On the Christian Sacraments

  • Author: St. Cyril of Jerusalem
  • Editor: F.L. Cross
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 124

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These six lectures on the Christian sacraments were delivered in Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century. They belong to a period of rapid transition for the Church. Less than 40 years before, Christianity had been an illegal religion, the object of intense persecution. Now it was the favored religion of the state. Potential converts thronged to the shining new basilicas, built through the beneficence of Constantine and his successors. Catechetical instruction was needed. It was provided by gifted preachers and teachers like St. Cyril of Jerusalem.

The first of the lectures, the “procatechesis,” is a hearty welcome to the candidates for baptism and introduces them to the periods of doctrinal instruction which lies ahead. The remaining five, the “mystagogical catecheses,” are an exposition of the rites of Christian initiation—baptism, chrismation, and the Eucharist—for the newly baptized. A rich source of information on the history and worship of the fourth century, the lectures remain a source of instruction and inspiration. The present edition, with its scholarly introduction and Greek text as well as its eminently readable English translation, makes this remarkable text available to the specialist and non-specialist alike.

Cyril of Jerusalem (Greek Κύριλλος Α΄ Ἱεροσολύμων) was a distinguished theologian of the early Church (ca. 313–386). He is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. In 1883, Cyril was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII. He is highly respected in the Palestinian Christian Community.

F.L. Cross was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church from 1944–1968. He did crucial academic work on the African biblical canons and early liturgy.

On the Soul and the Resurrection

  • Author: St. Gregory of Nyssa
  • Editor: Catherine P. Roth
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 126

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In the fourth century, the Christian church emerged from the catacombs as a spiritual and intellectual force, and many believers struggled to explain their faith within prevailing philosophical systems. Among them was St. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, who examined the doctrine of the bodily resurrection.

Following Plato’s literary example, St. Gregory wrote a dramatic dialogue regarding the soul and the resurrection, in which he plays the role of “pupil,” while his elder sister, St. Macrina, assumes the role of “teacher.” The lively dialogue addresses many thorny issues—the nature of the soul, the condition of the soul after death, and the transmigration of the soul—and concludes with a position corresponding to the writings of the Apostle Paul. St. Gregory’s adherence to Scripture in the context of his philosophical milieu provides contemporary readers with a superb example of Christianity encountering culture.

St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – after 394) was a Christian bishop and saint. He was a younger brother of Basil the Great and a good friend of Gregory of Nazianzus. His significance has long been recognized in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity. Some historians identify Theosebia the deaconess as his wife, others hold that she, like Macrina the younger, was actually a sister of Gregory and Basil.

Catherine P. Roth is an adjunct instructor in philosophy at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College.

On Wealth and Poverty

  • Author: St. John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Catherine P. Roth
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 1984
  • Pages: 140

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The sermons of St. John Chrysostom are noted as classical commentaries on the Christian life. Knowing well the realities of life in the world, the temptations of rich and poor alike, this great orator—“the golden-mouthed”—addresses the questions of wealth and poverty in the lives of people of his day. And yet, as the modern reader is confronted with his words, it becomes apparent that he too is being addressed; Chrysostom’s words are words proclaiming the truth of the gospel to all people of all times. The message of the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31) is brought home to every person in these six sermons of Chrysostom with clarity, insight into the human dilemma, compassion, and judgment.

John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, meaning “golden mouthed,” rendered in English as Chrysostom.

Catherine P. Roth is an adjunct instructor in philosophy at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College.

On the Lord’s Prayer

  • Authors: Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen
  • Translator: Alistair Stewart-Sykes
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 214

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

These are the only three existing ante-Nicene treatises on the Lord’s Prayer, and they became the starting point for many other commentaries. Of the three, however, only the discourse of Cyprian is an address to catechumens. Tertullian’s treatise contains additional material on the conduct of worship and on prayer in the assembly, and Origen’s commentary is a vast work on the whole subject of prayer, as much suited to advanced learners in the school of Christ as to those preparing for baptism.

Alistair Stewart-Sykes has provided us herein with very readable, accurate, and generally inclusive translations of these three great spiritual classics in a way that should appeal to all readers. What is more, by means of his helpful introductions and notes, he has placed these works in their respective historical/liturgical/theological contexts. This volume merits wide use and readership in several different environments, from general reading to parish education sessions to the university and seminary classroom.

Maxwell E. Johnson, professor of liturgical studies, University of Notre Dame

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian (c. 160–220 AD), was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy. Tertullian has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.

Saint Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and an important early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are still extant. He was born circa the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. After converting to Christianity, he became a bishop (249) and eventually died a martyr at Carthage.

Origen (c. 182–251) was a Christian scholar and theologian and one of the most distinguished of the fathers of the early Christian Church. He is thought to have been born at Alexandria, and died at Caesarea. His writings are important as the first serious intellectual attempt to describe Christianity.

Alistair Stewart-Sykes is a leading scholar of Christian liturgical origins. The author of numerous books and articles on early Christianity and its liturgy, he had retired from teaching and is a vicar in the Diocese of Salisbury, England.

On Pascha: With the Fragments of Melito and Other Material Related to the Quartodecimans

  • Author: Melito of Sardis
  • Translator: Alistair Stewart Sykes
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 101

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The Quartodecimans were early Christians who maintained the tradition derived from Judaism, and observed Pascha on the same occasion that the Jews observed Passover. In this work, Alistair Stewart-Sykes, the leading authority on Melito and the Quartodecimans, presents a unique collection of material in a format ideal for classroom use as well as for the general reader.

At the head of this collection stands a new translation of On Pascha by Melito of Sardis, a liturgical work deriving from Quartodeciman circles in Asia. Alongside this is an extensive introduction and annotation pointing out not only the parallels to Jewish practice, but also offering an analysis of the work in terms of classical rhetoric. In addition, the translator has included a selection of Melito’s fragments, testimonies to Melito, and other material vital for understanding the Quartodeciman liturgies from Rome, Syria, and Asia. All texts are translated, described, and discussed.

Melito of Sardis (died c. AD 180) was the bishop of Sardis, and a highly influential early church leader. He published widely, though most of his work survives in fragments. His celebrated but untitled apology, written in AD 161, was addressed to Marcus Aurelius.

Alistair Stewart-Sykes is a leading scholar of Christian liturgical origins. The author of numerous books and articles on early Christianity and its liturgy, he had retired from teaching and is a vicar in the Diocese of Salisbury, England.

Hymns on Paradise

  • Author: Ephrem the Syrian
  • Translator: Sebastian Brock
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 240

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Explore St. Ephrem the Syrian’s cycle of fifteen Hymns on Paradise—a stunning example of Christian poetry which weaves profound theological musings around a biblical narrative. Beautifully translated by Syriac scholar Sebastian Brock, Ephrem’s hymns have an immediacy achieved by few other theological works from the early Christian period. Rather than being tied to a particular cultural or philosophical background, his theology operates by means of imagery and symbolism basic to all human experience.

Centered on Genesis 2 and 3, the Hymns on Paradise expresses his awareness of the sacramental character of the created world, and of the potential of everything in it to act as a witness to the creator. He posits an inherent link between the material and spiritual worlds. St. Ephrem’s mode of theological discussion is biblical and Semitic in character, using types and symbols to express connections and reveal things otherwise hidden—expressing meanings between the Old Testament and the New, between this world and the heavenly, between the New Testament and the sacraments, and between the sacraments and the eschaton.

St. Ephrem the Syrian was a Syriac and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the fourth century. He is venerated by Christians throughout the world, and especially in the Syriac Orthodox Church, as a saint. Ephrem wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and sermons in verse, as well as prose biblical exegesis. These were works of practical theology for the edification of the church in troubled times.

Sebastian Brock was born in 1938 and studied Classics (Greek and Latin) and Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Aramaic) at Cambridge University before earning his DPhil at Oxford University, researching the text of the Septuagint. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and Oxford, where he was Reader in Syriac Studies. He is well-known for his translation work of Syriac into English, and has published extensively in the field of Syriac studies, including An Introduction to Syriac Studies and The Bible in the Syriac Tradition.

On Ascetical Life

  • Author: Isaac of Nineveh
  • Translator: Mary Hansbury
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 116

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Mary Hansbury offers a fresh presentation of On Ascetical Life by Isaac of Nineveh, whose monastic anthropology had a major influence on all of Byzantine spiritual literature. According to St. Isaac, the way toward God was threefold: the way of the body, the way of the soul, and the way of the spirit. In the first stage, the person begins with a total preoccupation with the passions and moves toward God by means of bodily works: fasting, vigils, and psalmody. The next stage involves a struggle against thoughts foreign to the nature of the soul, turning from created objects to the contemplation of God’s wisdom and a transformation within. And as the person arrives at a total openness of the soul to the future hope, he or she proceeds to the final stage of unified knowledge—an attitude of wonder and praise in continual prayer to God, leading to the freedom of immortal life given after the resurrection.

Isaac of Nineveh (St. Isaac the Syrian) was a seventh-century monastic, bishop, and theologian, remembered especially for his written works. Isaac is unique in that he is commemorated as a Saint by the Oriental, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic churches, despite living after the period of the Nestorian Schism.

Mary Hansbury received her PhD from Temple University in Philadelphia, specializing in early Christian studies in a world religions context. She has taught at La Salle University in Philadelphia and at Bethlehem University in Palestine.

On God and Man

  • Author: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translator: Peter Gilbert
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 175

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St. Gregory of Nazianzus is one of the most transparent Fathers of the Church. In these poems, he speaks of the joys and frustrations of his own life, laying bare his inner questioning about the purpose and value of life in the face of sin and mortality, and his ultimate faith in Christ as the redeemer and reconciler of all things. St. Gregory’s poetry has often been compared with St. Augustine’s Confessions—showing a peculiarly modern interest in the self. Peter Gilbert’s translations allow the reader to see that self-reflection in its theological context—offering beautiful renditions of his major doctrinal poems. Explore St. Gregory’s poems on the Trinity, creation and providence, angels and the soul, the person of Christ, and human nature. This volume also includes poems debating the Christian understanding of marriage and virginity.

Gregory of Nazianzus (329–391), also known as Gregory the Theologian, is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. The Orthodox Church reveres him as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Saint Basil the Great and Saint John Chrysostom. His significant contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity are keenly felt today, and his poems and prose reveal his tremendous wisdom.

Peter Gilbert earned his PhD from the Catholic University of America. He has taught at the Ukrainian Catholic University, Seton Hall University, and St. John’s College in New Mexico.

On God and Christ

  • Author: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translators: Frederick Williams and Lionel Wickham
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 175

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St. Gregory of Nazianzus, “The Theologian,” was recognized among the Cappadocian Fathers as a peculiarly vivid and quotable expositor of the doctrine of the Trinity. A brilliant orator and accomplished poet, he placed before the Church his interpretation of the sublime mystery of the God revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These five sermons—probably delivered as a series at the small chapel of the Resurrection in Constantinople—contain Gregory’s penetrating teaching. Frederick Williams and Lionel Wickham’s English translation captures for the present-day reader the atmosphere of intellectual excitement and spiritual exhilaration experienced by St. Gregory’s first listeners. This volume also contains a new translation of St. Gregory’s letters to Cledonius, which contain more focused reflections on the person of Jesus Christ, laying the groundwork for later Christology.

Gregory of Nazianzus (329–391), also known as Gregory the Theologian, is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. The Orthodox Church reveres him as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Saint Basil the Great and Saint John Chrysostom. His significant contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity are keenly felt today, and his poems and prose reveal his tremendous wisdom.

Frederick Williams is professor of Greek at the Queen’s University in Belfast, translated the first oration.

Lionel Wickham was formerly lecturer in the faculty of divinity at Cambridge. He translated the other four orations and the two letters to Cledonius.

Letters from the Desert

  • Authors: Barsanuphius and John
  • Translator: John Chryssavgis
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 213

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Dive into the letters of two monastic elders: the “Great Old Man,” Barsanuphius, and the “Other Old Man,” John, who lived in the southern region around Gaza during the early part of the sixth century. Maintaining strict seclusion within their cells, they spoke to others only through letters by way of Abba Seridos, the abbot of the monastic community in Gaza. John’s authority was more institutional, as he responds to problems of a practical nature, while Barsanuphius’ authority is more inspirational, responding to principles of a spiritual nature. Their letters were written to hermits, to monks in the community, to those in the choir, to priests, and to lay persons. Some were intended for advanced instruction, while others were intended for novices, according to the capacity of the inquirer. The questions and answers of these letters evoke the image of the Christian tradition being passed from elder to disciple. In John Chryssavgis’s fresh translations, the contemporary reader is enabled to appreciate the method and inspired to imitate the message.

John Chryssavgis studied theology in Athens and Oxford. He taught at St Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney and at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston. His writings have focused on the early ascetic literature of Egypt, Palestine, and the Sinai Peninsula.

Four Desert Fathers

  • Translators: Tim Vivian with Rowan A. Greer
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 202

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Pambo, Evagrius, Macarius of Egypt, and Macarius of Alexandria—the four fathers presented in this volume—were well known in Alexandria and lower Egypt some 1,600 years ago. Their lives, brought to fame by Palladius’ Lausiac History, provide valuable insight into the Egyptian monastic communities of the fourth century and into the saintly tradition of the Coptic Church. This volume offers the stories of their lives in fresh English translations by Tim Vivian.

Pambo was an Egyptian Desert Father of the fourth century, a disciple of St. Anthony the Great. He lived in the Nitrian Desert, where he founded several monasteries and became the spiritual father of other saints including St. Pishoy and St. John the Dwarf.

Evagrius (345–399) was from Pontus. He left an ecclesiastical career in Constantinople to become a monk in 383. He then traveled to Egypt, where he lived an ascetic life. He was a disciple of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Macarius of Egypt.

Macarius of Egypt (ca. 300–391) was an influential Desert Father, hermit, and founding father of monasticism. He was a disciple of St. Anthony the Great.

Macarius of Alexandria was a monk in the Nitrian Desert.

Tim Vivian is lecturer in religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield, and the translator of numerous early patristic texts.

Rowan A. Greer was the Walter H. Gray Professor Emeritus of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School.

The Cult of the Saints

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translators: Wendy Mayer with Bronwen Neil
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 280

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The cult of the saints is a phenomenon that expanded rapidly in the fourth century, and John Chrysostom’s homilies are important witnesses to its growth. In this volume, Wendy Mayer investigates the liturgical, topographical, and pastoral aspects that marked the martyr cult at Antioch and Constantinople in Chysostom’s time.

The cult’s original point of focus was the Christian martyrs—those followers of the Jesus-movement who died in confession of their faith, either at the hands of other Jews or at the hands of the Roman administration. Mayer pinpoints several conceptual shifts that identified and shaped this cult: the imitation of Christ’s own death; the creedal declaration “I am a Christian”; the sense of privilege bestowed upon martyrs; the ritual purity of relics; public veneration of the departed; and places made holy by martyrs’ blood. This rich collection includes homilies on martyrs Meletius, Eustathius, Lucian, Phocas, Juventinus and Maximinus, Ignatius, Eleazar (and the seven boys), Bernike, Prosdoke and Domnina, Barlaam, Drosis, and Romanus. It also includes encomia on Egyptian martyrs and on all the martyrs. The volume also includes two letters—one written by Chrysostom from exile concerning the use of martyr relics in a mission context, and one in which Vigilius, Bishop of Tridentum, offers him fresh Italian relics.

John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, meaning “golden mouthed”, rendered in English as Chrysostom.

Wendy Mayer is a Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow and deputy director at the Center for Early Christian Studies at Australian Catholic University.

Bronwen Neil is senior lecturer in ecclesiastical Latin (Burke Lecturership) at the Brisbane campus of Australian Catholic University.

The Book of Pastoral Rule

  • Author: Gregory the Great
  • Translator: George E. Demacopoulos
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 212

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Recognized as the most thorough pastoral treatise of the patristic era, this sixth-century work bySt. Gregory the Great carefully details the duties and obligations of the clergy concerning the spiritual formation of their flock. Examine this important Early Christian document in fresh translation by George E. Demacopoulos.

Gregory the Great (ca. 540–604) was born into Roman nobility and was prefect of Rome before converting the family estate into a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew, where he remained until 579, when he was appointed as apocrisiarius to Constantinople. He began his papacy in 590 under the name Pope Gregory I.

George E. Demacopoulos is assistant professor of historical theology at Fordham University and author of Five Models of Spiritual Direction in the Early Church.

Festal Orations

  • Author: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translator: Nonna Verna Harrison
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 194

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In the West, St. Gregory of Nazianzus is best known for his Five Theological Orations, a classic response to the theology of Eunomius, a late, radicalized form of Arianism. However, his Festal Orations have shaped the theology and spirituality of the Eastern churches in ways that have escaped the notice of those who read only the Theological Orations. In the context of festal proclamation and celebration, St. Gregory articulates his own theology with emphasis and rhetorical features different from those found in the five discourses. The doctrines he proclaims are inseparably intertwined with his pastoral teachings about Christian life. Now you can dive into this significant, and often overlooked, work in an engaging English translation by Sister Nonna Verna Harrison.

Gregory of Nazianzus (329–391), also known as Gregory the Theologian, is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. The Orthodox Church reveres him as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Saint Basil the Great and Saint John Chrysostom. His significant contributions to the doctrine of the Trinity are keenly felt today, and his poems and prose reveal his tremendous wisdom.

Nonna Verna Harrison is assistant professor of church history at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri.

On Christian Doctrine and Practice

  • Author: Basil the Great
  • Translator: Mark DelCogliano
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 320

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As a priest and then bishop, St. Basil the Great devoted sophisticated treatises to the Trinity and to articulating his vision of the Christian life. In his homilies, Basil distilled the best of his moral and theological teachings into forms readily accessible to his flock, and now to us. During his lifetime, Basil was recognized as one of the foremost rhetoricians of his day—a man supremely skilled in the art of speaking, instructing, persuading, and delighting at the same time. His rhetorical skills are on full display in the 11 moral homilies translated in this volume—seven of which appear in English for the first time.

Basil the Great, also called Basil of Caesarea, (330–379) was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. He was an influential fourth-century Christian theologian and monastic. Theologically, Basil was a supporter of the Nicene faction of the church, in opposition to Arianism on one side and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea on the other.

Mark DelCogliano teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has published numerous translations of patristic works, including Basil’s Against Eunomius.