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eBook Gregory of Nazianzus (The Early Church Fathers) ePub

eBook Gregory of Nazianzus (The Early Church Fathers) ePub

by Brian Daley

  • ISBN: 0415121817
  • Category: World
  • Subcategory: History
  • Author: Brian Daley
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 21, 2006)
  • Pages: 288
  • ePub book: 1462 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1438 kb
  • Other: docx mbr lit mobi
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 572

Description

By almost any criterion, St. Gregory of Nazianzus is a complex figure. Like a number of the most influential of those early Christian writers whom we call Fathers of the Church, he lived in an age-the last three quarters of the fourth century-in which it was, for the first time, legally and socially permissible to be a public Christian intellectual.

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Brian E Daley, SJ, is the Catherine F Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Weary postmoderns, rejoice, for you have a theo-poet among you in Gregory of Nazianzus. A student of the theology of the Church Fathers, he has been a member of the North American Roman Catholic-Orthodox dialogue for over 25 years. His publications include The Hope of the Early Church (1991). And since Gregory worked his vocabulary around the economy of the Incarnation, one can even say he was a narrative theologian! (Okay, I'll stop poking fun at postmodernists now). I had reservations about this volume at first.

Gregory of Nazianzus (Th. .has been added to your Cart. St Gregory of Nazianzen, also known as 'the Theologian', was one of the key architects of the Early Christian Church, along with St Basil and St Gregory of Nyssa

Gregory of Nazianzus (Th. St Gregory of Nazianzen, also known as 'the Theologian', was one of the key architects of the Early Christian Church, along with St Basil and St Gregory of Nyssa. He was also one of the main theologians who was instrumental in formulating the doctrine of the Trinity, which today is held around the world by all the main denominations.

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Gregory of Nazianzus, a complex and colorful figure in a crucial age (fourth century AD) when it was permissible for the first time to be a public Christian intellectual, was well placed to become one of the outstanding defenders and formulators of Church doctrine.

Gregory of Nazianzus, a complex and colorful figure in a crucial age (fourth century AD) when it was permissible for the first time to be a public Christian intellectual, was well placed to become one of the outstanding defenders and formulators of Church doctrine. A gifted and skilled rhetorician, poet, and orator, and a profound theologian, Gregory was ordained a bishop and served for almost two years as head of the orthodox Christian community in Constantinople, where he played a crucial role in formulating the classical doctrines of the Trinity and the person of Christ.

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Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian

Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials.

This book brings together a new, original survey of the significance of Gregory's life and work with translations of eight beautiful and profound orations. Gregory of Nazianzus portrays a vivid picture of a fascinating character of vital importance who deserves to be regarded as the first true Christian humanist.

The eight orations, each representing a different aspect of his writing, are examined alongside a selection of his shorter poems in verse translation, letters, and a translation of Gregory's own will. Author Brian Daley offers extensive commentary on the works translated and an ample bibliography.

With an extensive introduction to Gregory's life, thought and writings, and including detailed notes, this study places Gregory in his correct historical context, and gives students access to a deeper understanding of this fascinating figure from the past.

Comments

LiTTLe_NiGGa_in_THE_СribE LiTTLe_NiGGa_in_THE_СribE
Weary postmoderns, rejoice, for you have a theo-poet among you in Gregory of Nazianzus. And since Gregory worked his vocabulary around the economy of the Incarnation, one can even say he was a narrative theologian! (Okay, I'll stop poking fun at postmodernists now). I had reservations about this volume at first. I thought Daley was going to interpret Gregory as *merely* a Christian humanist interested only in "a new Hellenic and Christian literature." Daley does pull that line, but there is more to it. Daley approached Gregory in a unique way: most people simply focus on Gregory's five theological orations (more on that later); Daley's approach is to translate and view Gregory's works which have not received that much attention. The positive is that we get a stunning array of Gregory's lyrical prose and poetry. With the exception of Augustine, we can't a strange glimpse into the struggles of an ancient writer, which is unusual for the time.

The downside to Daley's approach is we don't get a lot of interaction with the rich theological corpus that Gregory leaves. True, Daley does translate, and occasionally gloss, the "Christmas Orations," but he generally doesn't deal with the theological orations except for a few pages in the introduction. This is not Daley's fault, for he did not set out to do that. (Interestingly, Daley does admit that for Gregory, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. There is nothing in here about Filioque and Daley, unlike the Schaff editors on Gregory of Nyssa, has the honesty to admit that.)

For Daley, Gregory sought to create a new theological vocabulary reminiscent of Hellenic literature, yet remaining faithful to the Christian Tradition, and he largely succeeded. Gregory saw himself, not only as a theologian--as he is known to us today--but also as a Christian philosopher, and routinely encouraged the contemplation-oriented youth to pursue philosophy.

Observations:
The selection on Gregory's poetry was beautiful. The modern world would be hard-pressed to find Gregory's equal on poetry. Daley's inclusion of Gregory's will was a neat addition to the volume, though probably not of much interest to theological studies. All in all this is a good read. A word of caution, though: If you have the Schaff edition on Gregory of Nyssa, you might not want to buy this book. Most of the material in the book, excluding the poetry and the introduction, is in the Schaff edition.
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St Gregory of Nazianzen, also known as 'the Theologian', was one of the key architects of the Early Christian Church, along with St Basil and St Gregory of Nyssa. He was also one of the main theologians who was instrumental in formulating the doctrine of the Trinity, which today is held around the world by all the main denominations.

Gregory, like the other Gregory and Basil, recieved a first class education and came from a family with impeccable credentials. Originally trained as a Rhetorician (the ancient equivalent of a Lawyer or Orator) he originally aimed at a public life and career, but under Basil's guidance became a Bishop. While not brilliant at his administrative duties, Gregory's brilliant orations on various matters would later become key sources of theological reflection on many matters.

While not as an outstanding administrator as Basil, or as brilliant a philosophical theologian as St Gregory of Nyssa, Nazianzen still had a brilliant theological intellect. Key to him, as was to the other Cappadocians, is the incomprehensibility and inscrutability of God by virtue of his infinity, which is an essential property of his essence. This was used to defend against the heresy of Arianism and Eunomius, who believed that Jesus was not God but only a creature made by God, though the greatest creature in creation. Gregory's orations also though come down from the pinnacles of speculative theology and also concern many pastoral matters as well as orations for great figures in the Church, alive and dead. Gregory also sometimes describes his experiential awareness of the Trinity in personal experience and in the liturgy, which often form some of his most interesting works.

This work introduces some of his main works, including the theological orations and other works.