Studying the early church can feel like entering a maze of bishops, emperors, councils, and arcane controversies. This book introduces early Christian theology by focusing on one particularly influential figure, Basil of Caesarea (ca. AD 330–378). It views Basil against the backdrop of a Roman Empire that was adopting Christianity. In Basil’s day, Christians were looking for unity in the teaching and practice of their faith. This study acquaints the student with Basil’s brilliant—and often neglected—theological writings. In particular, Saint Basil’s reflections on the Trinity emerge from these pages as fascinating and illuminating testimonies to the faith of early Christians.
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For decades, Basil’s thought was overshadowed by the reputation of his brother, Gregory of Nyssa. But in recent years a new generation of scholarship—Völker Drecoll, Mark DelCogliano, Philip Rousseau, and Andrew Radde-Gallwtiz—has shown us anew the power of Basil as theologian . . . This concise and elegant discussion offers us the best short introduction to Basil available in any language.
—Lewis Ayres, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, Durham University
Basil of Caesarea’s gifts as church politician and monastic founder have attracted much attention in recent scholarly literature, though his importance as a thinker and theologian had been neglected in favor of his younger brother, Gregory of Nyssa. In this clearly written book, Andrew Radde-Gallwitz helps us see Basil’s brilliance as a theologian. Basil of Caesarea establishes Radde-Gallwitz as one of the finest scholars of Christian late antiquity.
—Andrew Louth, emeritus professor of patristic and Byzantine studies, Durham University
Andrew Radde-Gallwitz is assistant professor of theology at Loyola University, Chicago. He is the author of Gregory of Nyssa and Transformation of Divine Simplicity.