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Popular Patristics Series, Part 4 (11 vols.)
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Overview

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.”

Key Features

  • 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

Product Details

Individual Titles

Light on the Mountain: Greek Patristic and Byzantine Homilies on the Transfiguration of the Lord

  • Translator: Brian E. Daley
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 378

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

The episode of the Transfiguration of Jesus plays a key role in the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels. Peter and his fellow Apostles have just acknowledged Jesus to be Israel’s long-awaited Messiah, and have been shocked by Jesus’ immediate prediction of his coming passion and death. Now Peter, James and John are allowed to share an extraordinary vision, marking him out as truly God’s own Son, radiant with divine glory. Early Christian commentators and preachers recognized the crucial importance of this incident for Christian faith and discipleship, as pointing in advance to the power of the cross and resurrection of Christ. The liturgical feast of the Transfiguration, anticipating that of the Exaltation of the Cross by forty days, came to be celebrated in the Eastern and Western Churches, beginning in the seventh century; yet since at least the third century, theologians have reflected on the significance of this event for the life of faith.

This volume brings together, in a new translation, a comprehensive collection of homilies on the Transfiguration of Christ from the Greek Patristic and Medieval Church, from Origen in the third century to St. Gregory Palamas in the fourteenth. Together they form a profound and moving set of meditations, from many perspectives and in many voices, on “the light of the recognition of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6), and on its importance for our lives.

Brian E. Daley, S.J. is the Catherine F. Husking Professor of Theology at the Univeristy of Notre Dame and also the translator of On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies, also in the Popular Patristics Series.

Poems on Scripture: Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

  • Author: St. Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translator: Brian Dunkle
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 159

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

In recent years the poetry of St. Gregory has gained admirers for its verbal artistry, rich theology, and psychological insight. Moreover, the Theologian uses verse to engage in extensive biblical exegesis, a project that can seem absent from his more famous orations and letters.

This volume translates selections from Gregory’s biblical verse, much of which is appearing in English for the first time, facing the original Greek The heart of the collection is a group of poems that distill the central teachings of the four Gospels in order to train beginners in an approach to the sacred text according to the model of Gregory himself: as an encounter with the living Word of God, who speaks directly to the Christian audience. Other poems included here, while not explicitly exegetical, witness to Gregory’s personalizing approach to meeting Christ in scripture.

Brian Dunkle is pursuing a doctorate in historical theology at the University of Notre Dame.

Coptic Texts Relating to Saint Macarius the Great

  • Author: Saint Macarius the Great
  • Translator: Tim Vivian
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 216

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

These three texts - The Sayings of Saint Macarius, The Virtues of Saint Macarius, and The Life of Saint Macarius of Scetis - provide insight into one of the most venerated saints of the Coptic Church and into the life in the Egyptian monastic communities of the fourth century.

Macarius the Great (also referred to as Macarius of Egypt or Macarius the Egyptian) presided over a loosely knit scattering of ascetic monastic communities in the fourth century Egyptian desert. He enjoyed great respect during his lifetime and his fame was further spread after appearing in Palladius' Lausiac History. This volume presents three ancient texts and provides valuable insight into the world of Coptic spirituality and early Egyptian asceticism. This work is a companion volume to Four Desert Fathers, also published by SVS Press, which features the lives of Macarius the Spiritbearer, Macarius of Alexandria, Pambo and Evagrius. The two volumes together, introducing the thought and practice of these desert dwellers through their Sayings, Virtues and Lives, offer the best access to their world.

Tim Vivian is Lecturer in Religious Studies at California State University, Bakersfield, and the translator of numerous early patristics texts.

The Harp of Glory: An African Akathist

  • Translators: John Anthony McGuckin
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 159

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

The Harp of Glory is a major hymn sounding the praises of the Theotokos, from the heart of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in its Golden Age. It is a text hardly known in the Orthodox or Western churches, even though it is truly a religious and literary treasure of world significance. It approaches closely to the character and genius of the Byzantine Akathist to the Mother of God (which it seems to know in part) but is so profoundly rooted in a different indigenous experience that it surely deserves the title of "An African Akathist."

This beautiful lyrical poem will be of interest to all who follow the rise of biblical exegesis in the ancient church, and forms of the great devotion to the Mother of God that is characteristic of the eastern churches. It is also an exquisitely crafted love song to the Virgin (troubadour style), from a monk scholar-musician wandering the highlands of Ethiopia, long ago.

John A. McGuckin is Professor of Early Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies at Columbia University.

The Letters: Ignatius of Antioch

  • Author: Ignatius of Antioch
  • Translator: Alistair Stewart
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 260

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

An otherwise unknown second-century Christian, Ignatius was taken from Antioch to Rome in an imperial triumph, to be executed in the arena. He saw this triumphal procession as Christ’s, as he went to a conquering death. As Christ’s death brought about reconciliation between Jew and Gentile, Ignatius hoped that his death, united with Christ’s, would bring about reconciliation within and among the churches to which he wrote.

Two centuries later, when the Arian controversy further divided the Antiochene church, an unknown writer took on the persona of Ignatius to appeal for peace. As today the church is more than ever divided, Fr Stewart presents a fresh English version of both Ignatius and his imitator, with the Greek of Ignatius, and concise introductions to the letters. The most recent research on Ignatius is accessibly presented, and the first English version of the imitation Ignatius is here made available to students, to clergy, and to the people of God.

Alistair Stewart is an Anglican priest presently serving in the UK. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books on early Christian life and worship, including four previous works in the Popular Patristics Series.

Three Treatises on the Divine Images

  • Author: St. John of Damascus
  • Translator: Andrew Louth
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 163

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

Is all Christian art fundamentally blasphemous? That was the question posed aggressively by the Christian iconoclasts of the eighth century in a bitter controversy. The resounding answer 'No' from John of Damascus helped to secure the future of art in the service of Christ. Without his brilliant defense, both profound and at times earthy, we might well have had no icons, murals, and mosaics in churches to elevate and enrich our spirits. This fresh and complete translation, by a distinguished patristic scholar, of John's three treatises on the divine images shows us the issue at stake both then and now. Professor Louth places all of us who care about them in his debt.

Andrew Louth is Professor of Patristics and Byzantine Studies at the University of Durham and the preeminent scholar on St. John of Damascus.

Treasure-house of Mysteries: Exploration of the Sacred Text Through Poetry in the Syriac Tradition

  • Translator: Sebastian Brock
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 306

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

Why was Cain’s sacrifice rejected, but Abel’s accepted? How did Joseph react when he came home and found Mary with child? Questions such as these served as the starting points for St Ephrem and other poets of the early Syriac tradition in these lively and highly imaginative poems where they explore the deeper spiritual meanings of the biblical text with great insight. Written with considerable verve, these narrative poems and dramatic dialogues offer the modern reader an unusual and refreshing perspective on some key passages in the Bible.

Sebastian Brock is Emeritus Reader in Syriac Studies in the University of Oxford, and an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He also translated St. Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns on Paradise, also in the Popular Patristics Series.

Two Hundred Chapters On Theology

  • Author: St. Maximus the Confessor
  • Translator: Luis Joshua Salés
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 185

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

The Chapters on Theology is one of Maximus’ most eclectic writings. In this short piece, Maximus discusses many diverse themes, including God's relation to the cosmos, monastic discipline and life, scriptural difficulties, and his vision of the consummated universe in relation to the incarnate Word of God. The work is arranged into two hundred “chapters,” which are often pithy pearls of wisdom that monks could learn from the respected figure of an elder or abbot. Chapters tend to address a range of issues monks would face in the course of their spiritual progress. As such, chapters differ in complexity, although many exhibit intentional ambiguities in order to speak meaningfully with the same sentence to those at different points in their spiritual journey.

The wisdom of these ancient words has transcended its time and place, and continues to be an inspirational piece, the insights of which are just as applicable today as they were nearly a millennium and a half ago.

Luis Joshua Salés is a native of Mexico City who has studied Patristics and is currently completing his doctorate in early, medieval, and Byzantine Church history at Fordham University, where he plans to write a dissertation on Maximus’ theory of virtue. His main interest is the Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Arabic Christian appropriations of the Classical traditions of ethics, logic, and metaphysics.

Wider Than Heaven: Eighth-century Homilies on the Mother of God

  • Translator: Mary B. Cunningham
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 267

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

Mary, the Virgin of Nazareth, was chosen by God to conceive and give birth to his only Son, Jesus Christ, as foretold by the Old Testament prophets. At the Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus AD 431) Orthodox bishops proclaimed that the Virgin Mary had contained God himself in her womb and, therefore, should be praised as "Birth-giver of God" for her essential role in the mystery of the Incarnation.

At the Church's recognition of her place in christological doctrine, popular veneration of the Virgin grew and feast days commemorating her began to be added to the Constantinopolitan Church calendar. The twelve sermons translated in this volume are the work of eighth-century preachers John of Damascus, Germanos of Constantinople, Andrew of Crete, John of Euboea, and Kosmas Vestitor and were likely preached in the course of all-night vigils for the feasts in honor of the Virgin.

Mary B. Cunningham is a lecturer in the Department of Theology at the University of Nottingham in England and was formerly a Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) at the University of Birmingham, England.

Works on the Spirit

  • Authors: Athanasius the Great and Didymus the Blind
  • Translator: Mark DelCogliano, Andrew Radde-Gallwitz, and Lewis
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 243

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

In the second half of the fourth century the mystery of the Holy Spirit was the subject of fierce debate. Those who fought against the Nicene Creed opposed the idea that the Spirit was God. Even some of those willing to accept the equality of the Father and the Son saw the Spirit as more angelic than divine.

The first great testament to the Spirit's divinity -showing how the Spirit creates and saves inseparably with the Father and the son- is St. Athanasius' Letters to Serapion. Only a few years later, Didymus the Blind penned his own On the Holy Spirit, which is here translated into English for the first time. For Didymus, the Spirit transforms Christians by drawing them into the divine life itself, and must therefore be one with the Father and Son. This volume offers new translations of two of the most powerful Patristic reflections on the work and nature of the Holy Spirit.

Mark DelCogliano teaches at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota.

Andrew Radde-Gallwitz teaches at Loyola University, Chicago.

Lewis Ayres teaches at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

Letters to Saint Olympia

  • Author: St. John Chrysostom
  • Translator: David C. Ford
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 172

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

In these letters—available in English in their entirety for the first time—St John Chrysostom guides, comforts, and instructs his spiritual daughter, St Olympia. Written at the end of Chrysostom’s life, while he was in his final exile, we see in these pages the unshaken faith of a saint who triumphed over persecution. We also find the words of a concerned spiritual father, who gives St Olympia the tools to overcome her temptation to despondency and despair.

Chrysostom’s Letters to St Olympia are an indispensable resource for those who are interested in the final days of his life, and they continue to be a source of consolation and edification for readers who seek instruction from St John’s “golden mouth.”

David C. Ford, Professor of Church History at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, is author of Women & Men in the Early Church: The Vision of St. John Chrysostom and co-editor of Glory & Honor.