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Popular Patristics Series, Part 5 (10 vols.)
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Gathering Interest

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

On Marriage and Family Life

  • Author: St. John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Catharine P. Roth and David Anderson.
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 114

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

Christian tradition often seems to give only grudging approval to the married life, particularly its sexual aspect. In these sermons of St John Chrysostom we find an important corrective to this view. Although himself a monk, Chrysostom had a profound understanding of the needs of his congregation. Inspired by the epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians, he discusses their reasons God instituted marriage--primarily to promote holiness of the husband and wife, and only secondarily to produce children.Chrysostom goes on to discuss sexual relations, the mutual responsibilities of marriage, and parenting. While parts of Chrysostom's sermons may seem limited to his own time, the vast majority of his advice has timeless relevance for the Christian family.

[This] translation is, by and large, fluent, and it thus makes Chrysostom sound both contemporary and refreshing... it shows a Chrysostom dealing with a theme which may seem unusual for somebody who had defended virginity so stoutly, and who nevertheless speaks of marriage in a fashion which shows him thoroughly acquainted with the ways of the world.

—E.G. Farrugia, S.J. Orientalia Christiana Periodica

On the Apostolic Preaching

  • Author: St. Irenaeus
  • Translator: John Behr
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 121

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

St. Irenaeus, undisputedly the most important theologian of the second century, laid a firmer foundation for all future Christian thinkers. Both in his work, Against the Heresies and in this present study, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, St. Irenaeus explains that there is but one God, made known to the human race by his one Son, Jesus Christ, through the one Holy Spirit; and this one God brings his creatures made from mud into intimate communion with himself. Writing in an age not unlike our own, among a plethora of religions and diverse gods, he exhorts his readers to hold fast to Scripture, which recounts the deeds that bring them into the covenant established by God.

This version of Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, translated from Armenian, clearly and simply introduces this crucial work by a church father whose christocentric exegesis produced the key that unlocked scriptural understanding for his contemporaries, and for us.

John Behr is Dean and Professor of Patristics at St. Vladimir's Seminary, and also the editor of the Popular Patristics Series.

On the Divine Liturgy

  • Author: St. Germanus of Constantinople
  • Translator: Paul Meyendorff
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 107

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

Originally titled Ecclesiastical History and Mystical Contemplation, this commentary by St. Germanus of Constantinople (+733) exercised tremendous influence on the Byzantine Christian world, serving from the eighth to the fourteenth century as the quasi-official explanation of the Divine Liturgy. The Popular Patristics edition presents the Greek text along side the English traditional.

In accordance with his experience of the rite liturgy at Hagia Sophia, St. Germanus uses strong visual images and applies spiritual and historical meaning to the literal texts: "The church is an earthly heaven in which the super-celestial God dwells and walks about. It represents the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ." Appearing at a time of tremendous flux in the life of the Byzantine Church and replete with allegory, the document holds both historical and theological value and displays remarkable balance at a pivotal point in church history.

On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies

  • Translator: Brian E. Daly
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 269

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

This volume brings together the earliest attempts by Greek theologians and preachers to interpret the Virgin Mary's dormition, or "falling asleep" in the Lord, in the light of the whole Paschal mystery. In addition to the sermon of Bishop John of Thessalonica- the earliest "official" retelling by an Orthodox bishop of the traditional narrative of Mary's entry into heavenly glory- the collection includes eleven other homilies from the seventh and eighth centuries, as well as a metrical translation of St. John of Damascus' canon for the feast. Some of the authors, like St. John of Damascus, St. Andrew of Crete, and St. Germanus of Constantinople, are well known- others less so. All of the works gathered here represent profound and original efforts to integrate the celebration of Mary's death into the wider context of the Christian theology of redemption.

Most of these works have never been translated into English before, and some are not available in any modern language. They offer an unparalleled glimpse of Mary's central importance in Christian faith and spirituality: as the one from whom God's Word took flesh. In the liturgical celebration of her dormition, these ancient preachers offer us an icon of Christian hope for the transformation of our humanity.

Brian E. Daly, S.J., is the Catherine F. Husking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

On the Holy Icons

  • Author: St. Theodore the Studite
  • Translator: Catharine P. Roth
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 115

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

To many modern Christians the question of icon veneration may seem a marginal issue in theology. To St Theodore the Studite, writing in the midst of the iconoclastic controversy of the eighth and ninth centuries, it was clear that iconoclasm is a serious error, which alienates its followers from God as much as any other heresy. That is to say, rejection of Christian veneration of images effectively denies God's incarnation, which alone makes human salvation possible. If Christ could not be portrayed, then He was not truly man, and humanity was not truly united with God in Him. In our own day, when the material world so often is regarded as mere matter, incapable of being transfigured in Christ, St Theodore's message remains remarkably pertinent.

This is a welcome book: a convenient and inexpensive version of a patristic text of seminal importance in the history of Byzantine theology...

—Robert Taft, S.J., Orientalia Christiana Periodica

On the Mother of God

  • Author: Jacob of Serug
  • Translator: Mary Hansbury
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 102

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

Jacob of Serug was born at Curtem on the Euphrates, ca. 451. Very little is known of his life. He probably studies at the school of Edessa. He became a monk and priest. Early in life he began writing and is thought to have composed more than 700 homilies. Jacob, "flute of the Holy spirit and harp of the faithful church," has a great love of the Mother of God. In this volume, four homilies have been chosen from the Syriac texts. The poetry is typological and rooted in Scripture. It offers, as Professor Brock notes in his introduction, an alternative to the "liberal critical approach to the bible" or to an excessively fundamentalist approach." After 1500 years of separation from this Oriental Orthodox tradition, so full of Scripture, it seems as if the Holy Spirit is uniting us through the poetic genius of Jacob of Serug.

Jacob of Serug is among the very finest of the west Syrian theologians and poets... His simplicity makes these texts easily accessible to a lay audience, although it in no way diminishes their doctrinal import. Mary Hansbury's translations read well as English poetic texts in their own right: faithful to the Syriac idion, yet fluid and graceful in English.

—Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Brown University

On the Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses Volume I: The Church and The Last Things

  • Author: St. Symeon the New Theologian
  • Translator: Alexander Golitzin
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 193

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

St Symeon the New Theologian was abbot of the monastery of St Mamas in Constantinople at the turn of the eleventh century. He was also perhaps the most remarkable and certainly the most forceful advocate of the mystical experience of God in the history of the Byzantine Church. Though they were on occasion suppressed by ecclesiastical authorities wary of his fierce enthusiasm, as well as his claims to charismatic authority, St Symeon's writings survived in the Orthodox Church and continued to play a vital role in the several renewals of spiritual life and prayer which has sustained the Church in its often difficult history over the past millennium.

The treatises on the mystical life, usually rendered as The Ethical Discourses, comprise St Symeon's most extensive treatment of the experience of God. They are also appearing here, in this and two following volumes, for the first time in English. Volume I selects those treatises devoted to the Church, the sacraments and the last things. Symeon discusses salvation history from creation leading to the glory of the eschaton. He includes a special section on the cosmic dimension of salvation, the experience of the rapture in the "third heaven" by the apostle Paul, who saw, heard, tasted, smelled and felt the one Light which is God. Addressing such themes as predestination, the knowledge of the saints in the world to come, the day of judgment as the "day of the Lord," and the experience of the sacraments, St Symeon's theology is a summation of a lifelong study of the Scriptures and fathers, of an immersion in the liturgical life of the Church and of lived experience.

Alexander Golitzin is associate professor of theology at Marquette University. He is author of Et introibo ad altare Dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita.

On the Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses Volume II: On Virtue and Christian Life

  • Author: St. Symeon the New Theologian
  • Translator: Alexander Golitzin
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 189

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

This is the second of a three-volume series translating The Ethical Discourses into English for the first time. Where Volume I presented St Symeon's treatments of the Church, the sacraments, and the "Day of the Lord," in this collection the reader finds him addressing the traditional language of Eastern Christian asceticism in the light of his message. Apatheia, or "dispassion," the ancient term for freedom from sinful passion, is insisted on by Symeon as denoting the real possibility of a transfigured life. Elsewhere, he takes up the role of the tools of asceticism," i.e., fasting, vigils, poverty, etc., in order to underline their function as instruments enabling conformity to the Cross of Christ. Other discourses dwell on the character and signs of the saint, on faith and love, and on ascetic retreat. Throughout, St Symeon anticipates the great fourteenth-century movement of Byzantine hesychasm, as well as the monastic renaissance of eighteenth-century Athos and nineteenth-century Russia.

Alexander Golitzin is associate professor of theology at Marquette University. He is author of Et introibo ad altare Dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita.

On the Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses Volume III: Life, Times, and Theology

  • Author: St. Symeon the New Theologian
  • Translator: Alexander Golitzin
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 220

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

This is the third of a three-volume series. The first two volumes translated St Symeon's Ethical Discourses, while this book seeks to place the teaching of the discourses in their proper context, both among Symeon's other writings and with regard to his sources in the Tradition. Included thus is a sketch of Symeon's life and times, together with an extensive discussion of his thought, particularly against the background in the ascetical, mystical, and theological literature of the Christian East prior to the tenth century. Just as he always insisted he was, the New Theologian emerges as a thoroughly traditional representative of central themes in Greek patristic thought, in particular of the doctrine of deification (theosis) as summing up the Christian hope. Even his claims to charismatic authority emerge as fully within monastic tradition dating back at least to the fourth century. These claims appear most clearly in his Letter on Confession which is appended to the present work.

Alexander Golitzin is associate professor of theology at Marquette University. He is author of Et introibo ad altare Dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita.

On the Unity of Christ

  • Author: St. Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: John Anthony McGuckin
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 151

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

In the early fifth century the Christian world was racked by one of the fiercest theological disputes it had known since the Arian crisis of the previous century. The center of debate turned on the nature of the personhood of Christ, and how divine and human characteristics could combine in Jesus without rendering his subjectivity hopelessly divided, or without reducing his authentic humanness to an insubstantiality. These arguments soon polarized into the conflict between two great churches, Alexandria and Constantinople, and their powerful archbishops, St Cyril (d. 444) and Nestorius (d. ca. 452) respectively. Cyril is, arguably, the most important patristic theologian ever to deal with the issues of Christology. The text here translated is one of his most important and approachable writings, composed in the aftermath of the Council of Ephesus (431) to explain his doctrine to an international audience. He argues here for the single divine presence but fostered and enhanced by it. Accordingly, for St Cyril, Christology becomes a paradigm for the transfigured and redeemed life of the Christian.

This book is essential reading for all those interested in the theology and spirituality of the fathers, in the ancient church's use of scripture, and the way in which the church once creatively expressed its thinking through the media of philosophy and the natural sciences.

John Anthony McGuckin, an Orthodox theologian, is Reader in Patristic and Byzantine Theology at the University of Leeds, England, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London. His previous books include: St Symeon the New Theologian: Chapters and Discourses; The Transfiguration of Christ in Scripture and Tradition; Selected Poems of St Gregory Nazianzen; St Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy; and Byzantium and Other Poems.