The Doctors of the Church (143 vols.)

By 61 authors
26 publishers, 1833–2017
Format:

Overview

The Doctors of the Church are the most reliable and authoritative teachers of the Faith for all Christians (not just Catholics). The Catholic Church, to date, has named 36 men and women as Doctors of the Church. “Doctor” essentially means teacher and each of the Doctors is noteworthy for their outstanding, clear teaching of the Faith, as well as their holiness. These 143 volumes represent 35 of the 36 Doctors (Gregory of Narek is the newest Doctor and we hope to have his works soon!) and draw from every major Patristic series we offer, including the Fathers of the Church Series, Ancient Christian Writers, Popular Patristics series, and the Classics of Western Spirituality. In this collection, you will find greats such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Jerome, as well as lesser known saints such as St. Lawrence of Brindisi and St. Peter Chrysologus. No library should be without this essential set of resources!

The following is a list of the 36 Doctors of the Church:

  • The eight Ecumenical Doctors:
    • St. Ephraem the Deacon (306-373)
    • St. Hilary (315-368)
    • St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
    • St. Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
    • Pope St. Leo the Great (390-461)
    • St. Peter Chrysologus, (400-450)
    • St. Isidore of Seville (560-636)
    • St. John Damascene (676-749)
  • The eleven Medieval Doctors:
    • St. Vernerable Bede (673-735)
    • St. Peter Damian (1007-1072)
    • St. Anselm (1033-1109)
    • St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
    • St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
    • St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
    • St. Albert the Great (1200-1280)
    • St. Bonaventure (1217-1274)
    • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
    • St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1379)
    • St. Gregory of Narek (951-1003)
  • The nine modern Doctors:
    • St. John of Avila (1499-1569)
    • St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
    • St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597)
    • St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)
    • St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
    • St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619)
    • St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
    • St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
    • St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

In Verbum, these works become the backbone of any study of the Christian faith. Links to the patristic writings of the Early Church Fathers will bring you right to the source—to the very quote—allowing you to see instant context. Footnotes appear on mouseover, as well as references to Scripture and extra-biblical material in your library, and you can perform near-instant searches across these volumes, searching for references to keywords or Scripture passages.

Product Details

  • Title: The Doctors of the Church
  • Volumes: 143
  • Pages: 57,500+
  • Christian Group: Catholic

Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God, The Tree of Life, The Life of St. Francis

  • Author: Bonaventure
  • Editor: Ewert Cousins
  • Translator: Ewert Cousins
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 384

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

Named “The Prince of Mystics” by Leo XIII, Bonaventure (1217–1274), friar and professor at the University of Paris, was considered a great spiritual master in his own lifetime. These great works show the core of his vision.

The Life of Saint Francis

  • Author: Bonaventure
  • Translator: Emma Gurney Salter
  • Publisher: J.M. Dent and Co.
  • Publication Date: 1904
  • Pages: 219

Composed between 1260 and 1263 at the bidding of a Chapter-General of the Order, The Life of Saint Francis was intended to supersede former “Lives or Legends,” and to become the official biography of the Saint. This classic volume is a standard reference for the study of the life of Saint Francis.

The Life of Christ

  • Author: Bonaventure
  • Translator: W.H. Hutchings
  • Publisher: Rivingtons
  • Publication Date: 1881
  • Pages: 337

The Life of Christ consists of 100 meditations on the life and work of Jesus Christ. These short meditations, averaging one to three pages in length, poetically illuminate the Scriptures, and “endeavor throughout to fix the gaze of the soul on the Divine Object.”

St. Augustine on Faith and Works

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: Gregory J. Lombardo
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 128

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

Composed in AD 413, this work refutes certain writings that taught good works were not necessary to obtain eternal life.

St. Augustine on the Psalms, vol. 1

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translators: Felicitas Corrigan and Scholastica Hebgin
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1960
  • Pages: 360

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

One of the most profound biblical commentaries ever written, Augustine addresses the church as the very focus and center of God and Christ. This volume contains Augustine’s commentary on Psalms 1–29.

St. Augustine on the Psalms, vol. 2

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translators: Felicitas Corrigan and Scholastica Hebgin
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1960
  • Pages: 410

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

One of the most profound biblical commentaries ever written, Augustine addresses the church as the very focus and center of God and Christ. This volume contains Augustine’s commentary on Psalms 30–37.

St. Augustine: Literal Meaning of Genesis, vol. 1

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: John Hammond Taylor
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1982
  • Pages: 296

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

A thorough and profound commentary on the first three chapters of Genesis. Completed in AD 415, Augustine’s explains, what the author of Genesis intended to say about what God did when he created heaven and earth. Contains Books 1–6.

St. Augustine: Literal Meaning of Genesis, vol. 2

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: John Hammond Taylor
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1982
  • Pages: 296

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

A thorough and profound commentary on the first three chapters of Genesis. Completed in AD 415, Augustine’s explains, what the author of Genesis intended to say about what God did when he created heaven and earth. Contains Books 7–12.

St. Augustine: Against the Academics

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: John J. O’Meara
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 224

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

Comprising the three earliest known works of St. Augustine, these works give a picture of Augustine’s mindset at precisely the most critical and vital time of the great thinker’s life.

St. Augustine: Faith, Hope, and Charity

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: Louis A. Arand
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 176

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

Drawing on all aspects of his thought, Augustine provides readers with a succinct compendium of his whole theology and the philosophical system on which it rests.

St. Augustine: Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: Thomas Comerford Lawler
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 255

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

Of all his works, it is Augustine’s sermons that give us the best portrayal of this brilliant and profoundly spiritual man presenting and interpreting the divine mysteries for his own people.

St. Augustine: The First Catechetical Instruction

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: Joseph P. Christopher
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 176

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

Written about the year AD 405, this volume embodies both a manual for the catechist and a catechesis for the prospective catechumen.

St. Augustine: The Greatness of the Soul, the Teacher

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: Joseph M. Colleran
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 264

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

An early writing, the The Greatness of the Soul treats the nature of the human soul, its dignity and grandeur. The Teacher discusses the fundamental question of how man acquires knowledge. Each text is written in the form of a dialogue.

St. Augustine: The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: John J. Jepson
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 240

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

Written between AD 393 and 396, when Augustine was a priest at Hippo, Augustine addresses the true intent of Jesus’ beatitudes, and the intentions behind the legendary sermon.

St. Augustine: The Problem of Free Choice

  • Author: St. Augustine
  • Translator: Dom Mark Pontifex
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 306

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

One of the most important works in the history of theological and philosophical thought, Augustine wrote this treatise in the waning years of the fourth century, between AD 388 and 395. This dialogue’s objective is not so much to discuss free will, but to discuss the problem of evil in reference to the existence of God—who is almighty and all good.

Confessions

  • Author: Augustine of Hippo
  • Translator: Vernon J. Bourke
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1953
  • Pages: 513

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

Augustine’s Confessions are his best-known and most influential work, being recognized as the first truly Western autobiographical work. Divided into 13 books, the Confessions are autobiographical admissions of his sinful youth and conversion to Christianity. The translator believes this work was written to address God directly, being both a meditation on the workings of Providence and a hymn of divine praise. Out of all of Augustine’s writings, the Confessions undoubtedly have the broadest appeal and is among his finest literary work.

The City of God, Books I–VII

  • Author: Augustine of Hippo
  • Translators: Demetrius B. Zema and Gerald G. Walsh
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1950
  • Pages: 499

Perhaps one of the most profound treatises on Christianity and government, the City of God envisions Christianity as a spiritual force, which should preoccupy itself with the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, rather than the earthly municipal and state affairs. The Fathers of the Church Series has divided this ancient classic into three convenient volumes.

The City of God, Books VIII–XVI

  • Author: Augustine of Hippo
  • Translators: Gerald G. Walsh and G. Monahan
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1952
  • Pages: 567

Perhaps one of the most profound treatises on Christianity and government, the City of God envisions Christianity as a spiritual force, which should preoccupy itself with the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, rather than the earthly municipal and state affairs. The Fathers of the Church Series has divided this ancient classic into three convenient volumes.

The City of God, Books XVII–XXII

  • Author: Augustine of Hippo
  • Translator: Gerald G. Walsh
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1954
  • Pages: 561

Perhaps one of the most profound treatises on Christianity and government, the City of God envisions Christianity as a spiritual force, which should preoccupy itself with the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, rather than the earthly municipal and state affairs. The Fathers of the Church Series has divided this ancient classic into three convenient volumes.

The Trinity

  • Author: Augustine of Hippo
  • Translator: Stephen McKenna
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1963
  • Pages: 556

This is Augustine’s famous treatise discussing the Trinity in the context of logos.

Selected Sermons; Homilies

  • Authors: Peter Chrysologus and Valerian
  • Translator: George E. Ganss
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1953
  • Pages: 454

This volume contains roughly a third of St. Peter Chrysologus’ authentic sermons, now available to an English-speaking audience. The sermons offer readers a glimpse into the daily life, religious debates, political milieu, and Christian belief and practice in the second quarter of fifth-century Ravenna.

Chrysologus preached and served as bishop at a time when the seat of the western Roman Empire was located in Ravenna. His career as bishop bridged the closing years of Augustine’s episcopate in North Africa and the early years of Pope Leo the Great’s pontificate in Rome. His sermons attest to his relations with the ruler of the state, the Empress Galla Placidia, as well as his familiarity with some of the significant theological controversies of the day. His chief importance, however, was not as an outstanding theologian, but as a shepherd who ruled his flock and preached well to its members. Loyally orthodox, he urged them to practice Christian virtues. He was concerned with their moral rectitude and spiritual growth, their understanding of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, their reverence and love for God, and their immersion in the Scriptures.

Chrysologus’s sermons are relatively brief in length, at least according to patristic standards, and he combines colloquial speech with a highly rhetorical flourish. The imagery that he employs indicates how attuned he was to the experiences of his congregation, how enamored he was of the beauty of the countryside or seashore, and how thoroughly imbued he was with the letter and the spirit of the Scriptures.

Selected Sermons, vol. 2

  • Author: Peter Chrysologus
  • Translator: William B. Palardy
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 326

In 1953, the Fathers of the Church series published selected sermons of St. Peter Chrysologus (ca. 406-450), Archbishop of Ravenna and Doctor of the Church, thereby making thirty percent of his authentic sermons available to an English-speaking audience. With the publication of this volume all of Chrysologus’s authentic sermons up to number 72 are now available in English. The sermons offer readers a glimpse into the daily life, religious debates, political milieu, and Christian belief and practice in the second quarter of fifth-century Ravenna.

Chrysologus preached and served as bishop at a time when the seat of the western Roman Empire was located in Ravenna. His career as bishop bridged the closing years of Augustine’s episcopate in North Africa and the early years of Pope Leo the Great’s pontificate in Rome. His sermons attest to his relations with the ruler of the state, the Empress Galla Placidia, as well as his familiarity with some of the significant theological controversies of the day. His chief importance, however, was not as an outstanding theologian, but as a shepherd who ruled his flock and preached well to its members. Loyally orthodox, he urged them to practice Christian virtues. He was concerned with their moral rectitude and spiritual growth, their understanding of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, their reverence and love for God, and their immersion in the Scriptures.

Chrysologus’s sermons are relatively brief in length, at least according to patristic standards, and he combines colloquial speech with a highly rhetorical flourish. The imagery that he employs indicates how attuned he was to the experiences of his congregation, how enamored he was of the beauty of the countryside or seashore, and how thoroughly imbued he was with the letter and the spirit of the Scriptures.

Selected Sermons, vol. 3

  • Author: Peter Chrysologus
  • Translator: William B. Palardy
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 390

This volume is the third in the Fathers of the Church series to make available selected sermons of St. Peter Chrysologus (ca. 406–450), Archbishop of Ravenna and Doctor of the Church.

A gifted homilist, Chrysologus manifested great reverence for the Scriptures as divine communication and made them accessible to his congregation. Making use of imagery drawn from Ravenna’s natural surroundings as well as from some of the professions occupied by members of his flock, Chrysologus explained orthodox doctrine and promoted spiritual development. The Gospels occupy the foreground in most of his sermons, yet Chrysologus allows the reader a glimpse of the daily life, religious debates, political milieu, and Christian belief and practice in mid-fifth-century Ravenna.

In this volume are several expositions of St. Paul’s letters and some sermons delivered on the feast days of saints and at the consecrations of new bishops. Most of the selections, however, are homilies on texts from the four Gospels that Chrysologus interpreted throughout the year. Of particular note is his preaching on specific liturgical seasons—the end of Lent, Easter, Pentecost, the period immediately prior to Christmas, and the Christmas and Epiphany cycle.

Bernard of Clairvaux: Selected Works

  • Author: Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Translator: G. R. Evans
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 352

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

Featuring a new translation by G. R. Evans, Bernard of Clairvaux’s writings have played a major role in shaping the Western monastic tradition and influencing the development of Roman Catholic mystical theology. Together with an introduction by the master of Bernard studies, Jean Leclercq, they comprise a volume that occupies a place of special importance in the chronicle of the history of the Western spiritual adventure.

Intimacy in Prayer: St. Bernard of Clairvaux

  • Author: Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Publisher: Pauline Books & Media
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 105

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

We all have a fundamental longing for authentic love and intimacy. But where can we find such an intimacy, and how do we express this need without fear? In these selections from his sermons on the Song of Songs, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux reflects on the biblical allegory of spiritual marriage between God the bridegroom, and our soul, the bride. Through this interpretation, he awakens you to God’s tender embrace, as well as God’s desire to have his affection reciprocated. By showing you how to accept God’s invitation to intimacy in your contemplative prayer, Saint Bernard reveals how you can fulfill your longing for pure and enduring love.

Bernard of Clairvaux O. Cist (1090–1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order. After his mother’s death, he sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d’Absinthe, about 15 kilometers southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on June 25, 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux.

St. Bernard's Sermons on the Canticle of Canticles, vol. 1

  • Author: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Publisher: Brown and Nolan
  • Publication Date: 1920
  • Pages: 497

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

Translated from the original Latin into English, these sermons on the "Song of Solomon, instead of being dry-as-dust homilies, are as varied and many-colored as is the spiritual life, every aspect of which they discuss with equal solidity and elegance." Volume one of St. Bernard's Sermons on the Canticle of Canticles contains sermons 1–43.

Bernard surpasses all the other Doctors of the Church.

—Martin Luther

The Abbot Bernard, in his book De Consideratione, speaks in the language of truth itself.

—John Calvin

He was gifted with a sublime eloquence, and so rich in saintly wisdom and eminent in holiness, that while we garner his teaching we should make his life our model. Bernard, the great contemplative, tasted all the sweetness of prayer; it you, too, would find a relish in prayer, ruminate his words. Not only are they spiritual and heart-penetrating, but they are also exquisite in style and calculated to impel you to the service of God.

—St. Bonaventure

St. Bernard's Sermons on the Canticle of Canticles, vol. 2

  • Author: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Publisher: Brown and Nolan
  • Publication Date: 1920
  • Pages: 539

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

Translated from the original Latin into English, these sermons on the "Song of Solomon, instead of being dry-as-dust homilies, are as varied and many-colored as is the spiritual life, every aspect of which they discuss with equal solidity and elegance." Volume two of St. Bernard's Sermons on the Canticle of Canticles contains sermons 44–86.

He treats theological subjects after the manner of the ancients, on which account, and because of the great excellence of his writings he is reckoned amongst the Fathers. And though the youngest of them in time, he is one of the most useful to those who desire to study and to improve their hearts in sincere piety.

—Alban Butler

What can so enliven our devotion, excite our contrition, or inflame our love as the life and teaching of the blessed Father St. Bernard? Where shall we find one more efficacious in exhorting to virtue, in dissuading from vice, in lifting our affections from earth to heaven?

—Henricus de Hassia

The sermons are tremulous with the incessant glimmer of allegories. . . . so rich in their spiritual suggestiveness that they strike upon the mind like rays straight from heaven, and belonging to that 'light that never was on sea or shore.'

—Samuel J. Eales

On the Admirability of the Virgin Theotokos from the Words of the Vision: ‘A great sign appeared’

  • Author: St. Lawrence of Brindisi
  • Pages: 32

This volume contains the Latin text and English translation for St. Lawrence of Brindisi's sermon On the Admirability of the Virgin Theotokos from the Words of the Vision: ‘A great sign appeared’. This sermon on Revelation 12:1 was prepared for the Saturday after Ash Wednesday.

St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559–1619) was a Catholic priest and member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He served as imperial chaplain for the army of Rudolph II and helped fight against the Ottoman Empire. He later served as papal nuncio to Bavaria and Spain.

Homilies, vol. 1 (1–59 on the Psalms)

  • Author: Saint Jerome
  • Translator: Marie Ligouri Ewald
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1965
  • Pages: 450

This volume contains 59 homilies preached by St. Jerome on selected Psalms. Jerome’s knowledge of the “three Sacred Languages,” Latin, Greek and Hebrew, his acquaintance with the exegetical methods of Antioch and Alexandria, his use of Origen’s Hexapla and his work on the Psalter are impressive credentials for the quality of these works.

As far as can be determined now these homilies were intended primarily for the instruction and edification of the monastic community that Jerome had established in Bethlehem where he spent the closing years of his life. They were recorded by scribes in the audience, and consequently the text may at times reflect the inadequacies of the listener.

Whether all the homilies that appear here are extemporaneous products of Jerome’s vast erudition and eloquence is a question that still awaits a satisfactory answer. Some scholars believe that an affirmative answer is correct, others citing the evidence of Homily 69 on Psalm 91, think that the content of some homilies is too deeply theological to be an impromptu composition. In any event, some patristic scholars have been bold enough to declare Jerome the most learned Latin Father of the Church.

Homilies, vol. 2 (Homilies 60–96)

  • Author: Saint Jerome
  • Translator: Marie Ligouri Ewald
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1966
  • Pages: 305

This volume of the Homilies of Saint Jerome contains fifteen homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, Homilies 75–84. In general, as in volume 1, Morin’s text has been followed as reproduced in the Corpus Christianorum, series latina 78.

The editors of the Corpus have added two homilies, one delivered on the Feast of the Epiphany from the Gospel of our Lord’s baptism and on Psalm 28, edited by B. Capelle; the other on the First Sunday of Lent, edited by I. Fraipont. In the present volume, they are Homilies 89 and 90.

Dom Germain Morin, as noted in the Introduction of Volume 1 of this translation, discovered fourteen homilies, providing a second series on the Psalms, in four Italian Codices dating from the tenth and fifteenth centuries. He examined with great care their probable identity with, or relationship to, the lost homilies of Saint Jerome catalogues in De viris illustribus “on the Psalms, from the tenth to the sixteenth, seven homilies.” There is more work to be done and many problems to be resolved, however, before this identification can be established with certitude. This chief obstacle is that of chronology. The De viris illustibus was written in all probability in 392–393, whereas the homilies appear to have been written in 402, the date determined by the study of Dom Morin. Other scholars, as U. Moricca, A. Penna, G. Grützmacher, give 394 and 413 as the earliest and latest dates, respectively, for all the homilies.

There is question also whether the Septuagint or the Hebrew Psalter was in the hands of Jerome when he wrote or preached the homilies on Psalms 10 and 15. They seem, in fact, to have been written rather than delivered, for he speaks of readers rather than hearers. They differ from the regular series of sermons in their greater erudition, more sophisticated language, many Greek expressions, and variations from the Hexapla. The closing doxology so characteristic of the other sermons is missing in them. They are much longer, and Jerome speaks of certain details as if he had already explained them. On the whole, they give evidence, too, of greater care in preparation.

Dogmatic and Polemical Works

  • Author: Saint Jerome
  • Translator: John N. Hritzu
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1965
  • Pages: 422

St. Jerome’s reputation rests primarily on his achievements as a translator and as a scriptural exegete. The important service that he rendered to the Church in his doctrinal works is often overlooked or minimized by those who look for originality and independence of thought. St. Jerome was not a theologian in the strict sense of the word. He was no original thinker, and he never abandoned himself to personal meditation of dogma as St. Augustine did. Although he kept strictly to what he found in tradition, the importance of his doctrinal authority is not thereby lessened.

After spending twelve years of his early life at his native Stridon, he was sent to Rome in the year 359 to finish his literary studies. For the next eight years, from 359 to 367, St. Jerome studied very diligently grammar, the humanities, rhetoric, and dialectics. He also took a passionate interest in the Greek and Latin classics, in the philosophers and poets, and especially in the satirists and comic poets. These studies, it seems, tended not to soften, but to exaggerate the temperament of St. Jerome who was by nature irascible and impulsive, and sensitive to criticism and contradiction. The reading in the satirists and the comic poets developed in him a taste for caricature and a penchant for making damaging allusions. Moreover, the trials before the Roman tribunes, which he attended eagerly, and wherein the advocates indulged in mutual personal invective, further developed in him the art and science of polemics which he was to employ so effectively and skillfully in the controversies which were to engage his attention seriously.

St. Jerome stressed the fact that the Church must always be regarded as the supreme rule and decisive standard of the Christian faith; and that that Church gives the true sense of the Scriptures, and is representative of tradition. It was owing to this firm conviction on the part of St. Jerome that the years of his later life were consumed in endless conflicts with the enemies of the Church. St. Jerome never spared heretics, but always saw it that the enemies of the Church were his own enemies. His encounter with the Sabellians was St. Jerome's first quarrel with an enemy of the Church. He gave notice early in his life that he would be a staunch protector of the doctrinal authority of the Church, and that he stood ready to attack any and all heresies that raised their heads against the Catholic faith.

On Illustrious Men

  • Author: Saint Jerome
  • Translator: Thomas P. Halton
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 150

Often cited as a source of biographical information on ancient Christian authors, On Illustrious Men provides St. Jerome’s personal evaluations of his forebears and contemporaries, as well as catalogs of patristic writings known to him. Heterodox writers and certain respected non-Christians (Seneca, Josephus, and Philo) are included in this parade of luminaries, which begins with the apostles and concludes with St. Jerome himself and a list of his own works prior to 393, the year in which On Illustrious Men was composed.

St. Jerome produced this work in his monastery at Bethlehem, to which he had retreated after his precipitous exit from Roman ecclesiastical politics. He had, however, maintained correspondences with several of his former associates, such as Dexter (the son of Pacian, bishop of Barcelona), to whom he addressed the work. Relying heavily on Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, St. Jerome attempts to demonstrate the erudition and nobility of character which render Christianity immune to the criticisms of its cultured despisers.

Since this work can be regarded as the patrology textbook of its day, its translator, Thomas P. Halton, has continued St. Jerome’s mission by compiling bibliographical data on recent editions, translations, and studies of ancient writings mentioned in On Illustrious Men. Extensive footnote material and appendices furnish a wealth of information useful for patristic research. In addition, an index to all of the Fathers of the Church volumes published to date, listed by individual authors, appears in this, the hundredth volume of the series.

Commentary on Matthew

  • Author: Saint Jerome
  • Translator: Thomas P. Scheck
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 363

St. Jerome (347–420) has been considered the pre-eminent scriptural commentator among the Latin Church Fathers. His Commentary on Matthew, written in 398 and profoundly influential in the West, appears here for the first time in English translation. Jerome covers the entire text of Matthew’s gospel by means of brief explanatory comments that clarify the text literally and historically. Although he himself resided in Palestine for forty years, Jerome often relies on Origen and Josephus for local information and traditions. His stated aim is to offer a streamlined and concise exegesis that avoids excessive spiritual interpretation.

Jerome depends on the works of a series of antecedent commentators, both Greek and Latin, the most important of whom is Origen, yet he avoids the extremes in Origen’s allegorical interpretations. His polemic against theological opponents is a prominent thrust of his exegetical comments. The Arians, the Gnostics, and the Helvidians are among his most important targets. Against Arius, Jerome stresses that the Son did not lack omniscience. Against Marcion and Mani, Jerome holds that Jesus was a real human being, with flesh and bones, and that men become sons of God by their own free choice, not by the nature with which they are born. Against Helvidius, Jerome defends the perpetual virginity of Mary.

In this commentary, Jerome calls attention to the activity of the Trinity as a principal unifying theme of the Gospel of Matthew. He also stresses that exertions are necessary for the Christian to attain eternal salvation; that free will is a reality; that human beings cooperate with divine grace; and that it is possible to obtain merit during the earthly life.

Commentary on Galatians

  • Author: Saint Jerome
  • Translator: Andrew Cain
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 308

Prior to the middle of the fourth century, the exegesis of St. Paul had been monopolized by Greek and Syriac commentators. Then, in the space of half a century (c. 360–409), there appeared no less than 52 commentaries by six different Latin authors. This sudden flurry of literary activity has been dubbed the western “Renaissance of Paul.” Jerome’s commentaries on four Pauline epistles (Galatians, Ephesians, Titus, Philemon), which he composed in 386 shortly after establishing himself in Bethlehem, occupy a central place in this relatively short but prolific segment of the history of Pauline exegesis in Latin.

Jerome was the greatest biblical scholar of the ancient Latin church, and his Commentary on Galatians is one of the crowning achievements of his illustrious career. It far outclasses the five other contemporary Latin commentaries on Galatians in its breadth of classical and patristic erudition, Hebrew and Greek textual criticism of the Bible, and expository thoroughness. It is unique also because it is the only one of the Latin commentaries to make the Greek exegetical tradition its main point of reference. Jerome’s Commentary in fact preserves, in one form or another, a treasure-trove of otherwise lost Greek exegesis, particularly Origen’s Commentary on Galatians, from which he worked very closely when composing his own work.

Jerome’s Commentary on Galatians is presented here in English translation in its entirety. The introduction and notes situate the Commentary in its historical, exegetical, and theological contexts and also provide extensive coverage of ancient and modern scholarly debates about the interpretation of Paul’s epistle.

The Letters of St. Jerome, vol. 1

  • Author: St. Jerome
  • Translator: Charles Christopher Mierow
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1963
  • Pages: 288

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

Provides an intimate portrait of the brilliant but strong minded Jerome; one of the four great doctors of the Christian West, and the most learned of the Latin fathers.

St. Jerome: Commentary on Ecclesiastes

  • Author: St. Jerome
  • Translator: Richard J. Goodrich
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 272

This first English translation of St. Jerome’s Commentary on Ecclesiastes includes a discussion by the translators that elucidates the difficulties of Jerome’s text, but also presents an original view of Jerome’s hermeneutical approach to the theological issues raised by this challenging book of the Bible.

St. Jerome-Origen: Commentary on Isaiah, Origen Homilies 1–9 on Isaiah

  • Authors: Saint Jerome, Origen of Alexandria
  • Translator: Thomas P. Scheck
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 1,120

Saint Jerome is best known as the translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible. In medieval times, Jerome was declared to be one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. The Council of Trent spoke of him as “the greatest doctor in the explanation of Holy Scripture.” Jerome’s Commentary on Isaiah is his longest extant work and considered by many to be his magnum opus. Respected scholar Thomas P. Scheck has offered the English speaking world the first translation of Commentary on Isaiah, as well as an introduction to Saint Jerome’s life and work and translations of Origen’s homilies on Isaiah. The work is heavily indebted to the Greek exegetical tradition, especially Origen.

St. Gregory the Great: Pastoral Care

  • Author: Saint Gregory the Great
  • Translator: Henry Davis
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1978
  • Pages: 296

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St. Gregory, one of medieval Christianity’s best minds, deals with the great responsibility of the episcopal office and its onerous nature.

Dialogues

  • Author: Saint Gregory the Great
  • Translator: Odo John Zimmerman
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1959
  • Pages: 303

Gregory the Great was known as an intellectual, administrative, and spiritual giant. While providing for the temporal needs of the Church duing his pontificate (590–604), he wrote the Dialogues to take care of the eternal welfare of his people. In four books, the Dialogues honors the memory of the saints of Italy through the first three, and in the fourth, discusses the immortality of the human soul.

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.

The Doctors of the Church (2 vols.)

  • Author: John F. Fink
  • Publisher: Alba House
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Volumes: 2
  • Pages: 512

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Study the development of Catholicism through the lives of the Doctors of the Church. In this two-volume series, John Fink presents brief profiles of the life of each Doctor followed by one or more writings characteristic of his or her work. The excerpts chosen are representative of the particular Doctor’s writings, and are also selected in such a way as to give an overview of Christian doctrine and practice through the centuries. From Saint Athanasius to Thérèse of Lisieux, you’ll find a wealth of inspiration and wisdom from the Doctors of the Church.

John F. Fink is editor emeritus of The Criterion, the Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He served as editor from 1984 to 1997. Prior to that he was with Our Sunday Visitor for 30 years, 11 of them as president and publisher. In the past, he also served as president of the Catholic Press Association and the International Federation of Catholic Press Associations, and is the author of several works, including Mere Catholicism: What the Catholic Church Teaches and Practices and American Saints: Five Centuries of Heroic Sanctity on the American Continents.

Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 1–47

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Thomas Aquinas Goggin
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1957
  • Pages: 505

The homilies on St. John’s Gospel come from the period in which Chrysostom attained his greatest fame as pulpit orator, the years of his simple priesthood at Antioch (386–397). This was the peaceful period in Chrysostom’s life that preceded his elevation to the episcopacy as patriarch of Constantinople (398), wherein adverse imperial and ecclesiastical reaction to his program of moral reform led to his deposition, banishment, and all but martyr’s death (407).

The 88 homilies, which date from about 390, work systematically through the text of St. John’s Gospel and thus form a commentary upon it. In his exposition Chrysostom reflects his youthful Antiochene training in the interpretation of Holy Scripture through his emphasis upon the literal or historical meaning of the sacred text. The exposition focuses sharply on practical morality and thus often supplies telling information about fourth-century life and times. The homilies show the flowering of Chrysostom’s intensive study of rhetoric and are especially commendable for their command of imagery. The first 47 homilies carry Chrysostom’s commentary through chap. 6.54–72; the remaining 41, extending the commentary through to the end of the Gospel, are contained in vol. 41 of this series.

Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 48–88

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Thomas Aquinas Goggin
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1959
  • Pages: 507

The homilies on St. John’s Gospel come from the period in which Chrysostom attained his greatest fame as pulpit orator, the years of his simple priesthood at Antioch (386–397). This was the peaceful period in Chrysostom’s life that preceded his elevation to the episcopacy as patriarch of Constantinople (398), wherein adverse imperial and ecclesiastical reaction to his program of moral reform led to his deposition, banishment, and all but martyr’s death (407).

The 88 homilies, which date from about 390, work systematically through the text of St. John’s Gospel and thus form a commentary upon it. In his exposition Chrysostom reflects his youthful Antiochene training in the interpretation of Holy Scripture through his emphasis upon the literal or historical meaning of the sacred text. The exposition focuses sharply on practical morality and thus often supplies telling information about fourth-century life and times. The homilies show the flowering of Chrysostom’s intensive study of rhetoric and are especially commendable for their command of imagery. The first 47 homilies carry Chrysostom’s commentary through chap. 6.54–72; the remaining 41, extending the commentary through to the end of the Gospel, are contained in vol. 41 of this series.

Discourses Against Judaizing Christians

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Paul W. Harkins
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1979
  • Pages: 348

St. John Chrysostom’s Discourses Against Judaizing Christians are eight homilies or sermons with a unifying theme: the correction of certain abuses in a fourth-century Christian community. Judged by modern tastes the Discourses may seem lengthy, and Chrysostom himself admits that they taxed his energies when he complains of having become hoarse. In Antioch of the late fourth century two highly divisive forces contributed to deteriorating Judaeo-Christian relations: very successful Jewish proselytizing, and Christian Judaizing. Both activities profoundly disturbed a vigilant leader and eloquent preacher such as Chrysostom was.

These Discourses, frequently interrupted by applause from the audience, present in their historical context one facet of the deteriorating relations. Antedating Chrysostom by some two centuries, emerging views that the Jews were a people cursed and dispersed in punishment for their unbelief and deicide were gaining credence; witness some statements by Irenaeus in Lyons and Tertullian in northern Africa. In the course of time certain passages of sacred Scripture began to be reinterpreted, when occasion presented itself, in such a way as to endow the polemics with divine authority.

A simplistic view of the complex problem of anti-Semitism raised the cry, almost a century ago, that the Church nurtures hatred against the Jews and at the same time protected them from the fury she had unleashed. However, on October 28, 1965, Vatican Council II issued a decree: Declaration on the Church’s Attitude Toward Non-Christian Religions (cf. Acta apostolicae sedis 58 (1966) 740–744). Therein the Council officially re-affirmed the common religious patrimony of Jews and Christians. It clearly rejected any alleged collective guilt of the Jewish people for the death of Christ and their alleged rejection of God.

On the Incomprehensible Nature of God

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Paul W. Harkins
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1984
  • Pages: 371

10 of the 12 homilies of St. John Chrysostom presented here were delivered at Antioch over a period of several years beginning in AD 386. The final two homilies were delivered in 398 after Chrysostom became patriarch of Constantinople.

All but one of the homilies aim at refuting the Anomoeans, heretics who revived the most radical tenets of Arius and blatantly claimed that man knows God in the very same way that God knows himself. Chrysostom’s refutations and instructions to the faithful are based on the Scriptures rather than on human reasoning. He departed from this series of refutations only in the sixth homily, which he delivered on December 20, 386, again at Antioch. It consists of a panegyric of St. Philogonius, bishop of Antioch ca. AD 319–323, who before his episcopal ordination had led a very exemplary life, practiced law and contracted a marriage that was blessed with a daughter.

In addition to their theological content, these homilies contain many other points of interest. On one occasion, people applauded the speaker and were very attentive to the homily but then left the church so that when Christ is about to appear in the holy mysteries the church becomes empty (Hom III.32; Hom VII.2). During another homily, pickpockets plied their trade so that Chrysostom urged “let no one come into the church carrying money” (Hom IV.46). Chrysostom also indicates that people kept talking to one another at the sacred moment when Christ becomes present (Hom IV.36). He also mentions that chariot races often proved more enticing than going to church (Hom VII.1). Finally, valuable information on fourth-century Eastern liturgies is found in Hom III.41, 42, and Hom IV.32.

Apologist

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Margaret A. Schatkin
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1985
  • Pages: 310

Apologist is the English translation of two of Chrysostom’s treatises, written about 378 and 382, aimed at provoking the divinity of Jesus Christ.

In Discourse in Blessed Babylas and Against the Greeks, Chrysostom responds to specific attacks on Christianity by such philosophers as Porphyry, using historical narrative and the arguments of fulfilled prophecies to prove Christ’s divinity. Chrysostom relates the story of St. Babylas, bishop and martyr, who defended the Church against an evil emperor and whose relics produced sobriety at Daphne and silenced the oracle of Apollo. Although a product of Christianized sophistic rhetoric, the discourse on Babylas furnishes interesting new material on the development of the veneration of relics and church-state relations in the third and fourth centuries. Schatkin’s translation is based on her critical edition prepared for Sources Chrétiennes.

The Demonstration Against the Pagans that Christ Is God is one of Chrysostom’s earlier works and one of his basic contributions to apologetics. Chrysostom argues for Christ’s divinity in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and in Christ’s own prophecies—particularly those on the phenomenal growth of the Church—to provide proof of a power that can be only divine. Harkins’ translation is based on the unpublished critical edition of Norman G. McKendrick.

Homilies on Genesis, 1–17

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Robert C. Hill
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 255

This translation makes available for the first time in English one of the most significant Old Testament commentaries of the patristic period. St. John Chrysostom’s extant works outnumber those of any other Father of the East; in the West, only Augustine produced a larger corpus. Of Chrysostom’s more than 600 exegetical homilies, however, only those on the New Testament have previously been translated into English.

The Genesis homilies, his richest Old Testament series, reveal a theologian, pastor, and moralist struggling to explain some of the most challenging biblical material to his congregation in Antioch. He admonishes them to “apply yourself diligently to the reading of Sacred Scripture, not only when you come along here, but at home,” encourages spiritual discourse, and frequently envisages them leaving church reminiscing on the day's sermon. While critical exegetical details go without mention and Chrysostom was limited to the Greek version of the Old Testament in his studies, his oratory has been judged golden and his theology profound. He was a preacher satisfied with commenting on Scripture with his moral purpose always to the fore.

Chrysostom studied the Scriptures with Diodore of Tarsus, a distinguished exegete known from fragments of his commentaries on Genesis and Psalms, and a polemic style developed from his pastoral concern to protect his congregation from the dangerous influences of fourth-century Antioch. Most importantly, he shared the Antiochene school’s insistence on the literal sense of Scripture and their unwillingness to engage in allegorical interpretation. As such, his Genesis homilies constitute a milestone in the history of biblical interpretation.

This first of several volumes on Genesis contains homilies 1–17, delivered in Antioch before Chrysostom moved to Constantinople in 398. Robert C. Hill’s thorough introduction highlights Chrysostom’s significance as a scriptural commentator and provides the basis for an interesting comparison with modern commentators, such as Von Rad and Speiser.

Homilies on Genesis, 18–45

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Robert C. Hill
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 483

John Chrysostom, called the “golden-mouthed” for his eloquent preaching, continues in this second volume of the 67 Genesis homilies to provide instruction for the moral reformation of the Christians of Antioch. He continues in Homily 18 with Genesis 3 and finishes in Homily 45 with Genesis 20. They seem to have been delivered perhaps as early as 385, half just before and during Lent and the remainder, from Homily 33 onward, after Pentecost.

That Chrysostom favored Antiochene exegesis is clear from his exhortation at the beginning of Homily 20 to “take up the thread of the reading and apply. . . the teaching from the passage.” “You see,” he writes, “there is not even a syllable or even one letter contained in Scripture which does not have great treasure concealed in its depth.” He artfully interprets the literal spiritual meaning of this treasure for his congregation through inspiring and colorful exegesis.

It was Chrysostom’s pastoral responsibility to guide his congregation by means of homiletic exegesis. He urged his listeners to take note of the instruction and to give attention to the correction of their own daily lives so as to “proceed to the enjoyment of salvation.” The theme of the good man Noe, who remained unaffected by the universal decline of mankind into wickedness, provides the example for the moral improvement of his listeners in Homilies 23–29, as does the hospitality of Abraham in Homilies 41–45.

The Genesis homilies reveal Chrysostom as commentator, preacher, moralist, and profoundly theological and precise exegete of Scripture, the truth of which he teaches for the betterment of this congregation.

Homilies on Genesis, 46–67

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Robert C. Hill
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1982
  • Pages: 288

St. John Chrysostom delivered his Homilies on Genesis sometime between AD 385 and AD 388, while yet a priest at Antioch. In the homilies in this volume, the last of three, Chrysostom concludes his examination of the lives and virtues of the Old Testament patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph as recounted in the last three chapters of Genesis.

Known for his eloquent preaching, Chrysostom delivered these final 22 homilies after Pentecost. His motive for examining the accounts of the lives of the patriarchs is to show how the just forebears of the Israelites, in a time when both the law and the Gospel were yet unpreached, were able to live Christian lives with only simple trust in God and the balanced, almost ingenuous manners of antiquity. His interest in the events and characters of Genesis is largely moral, even moralistic; he tends to see Scripture as hagiography. His style of commentary, although not really thorough exegesis, arises out of his deep conviction of the divine inspiration of Scripture—hence the habitual attention to detail, “not idly or to no purpose” being his frequent comment on the precision of the text.

As an exegete, Chrysostom may seem disappointing to those grounded in the methods of modern biblical scholarship, since he largely ignores any sense of Scripture other than the literal and is generally unaware of how to resolve difficulties and appreciate subtleties that a knowledge of the original text would provide. However, what lacks in scientific accuracy he more than compensates for with his earnest practice of pastoral care.

This final volume of the homilies includes a general index and an index of biblical citations, the latter indicating the rich scriptural diet Chrysostom’s congregation—who came daily for his homilies—enjoyed.

On Repentance and Almsgiving

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Gus George Christo
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 177

St. John Chrysostom delivered nine homilies on repentance in Antioch of Syria sometime between 386 and 387. With conviction and certitude, he preached that repentance was a necessity for both the sinner and the righteous man. This volume presents Chrysostom’s homilies on repentance and includes a sermon on almsgiving that he preached in Antioch during the winter months in 387.

Chrysostom’s work reveals that repentance is an indestructible pillar of the All-Holy, Universal and Immutable Church of Christ. He believed that repentance is the liturgical tool that rejuvenates sinners and admits them into the life-giving Eucharist where they experience fully and dynamically the concrete presence of God.

The powers of repentance have rich biblical roots, and Chrysostom masterfully weaves his teaching with a plethora of Old and New Testament citings. From Scripture, the reader learns that repentance is never confined to the eucharistic context—it becomes a way of life for the believer. The daily applications of repentance, such as almsgiving, fasting, remorse over personal sins, humility, prayer, and attending Church, suggest that a person’s entire life has an ecclesial character. Chrysostom preached that the whole experience of a true life in Christ is repentance that culminates in metanoia—the total change and renewal from the heart and mind of sin to “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).

In his introduction to the homilies, Fr. Gus Christo includes a succinct biography of Chrysostom within which he sets the homilies in their chronological context. He also provides an overview of repentance and discusses the ecclesiological nature of Chrysostom’s theology.

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.

St. John Chrysostom: Baptismal Instructions

  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: Paul W. Harkins
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1963
  • Pages: 384

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This series of eight instructions on baptism were given by St. John Chrysostom, probably at Antioch about AD 390. They describe Chrysostom’s activity as a mystagogue for baptismal candidates, as their instructor in Christian doctrine, and in postbaptismal morality.

Palladius: Dialogue on the Life of St. John Chrysostom

  • Author: Palladius
  • Editor: Robert T. Meyer
  • Translator: Robert T. Meyer
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1985
  • Pages: 249

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Probably written between AD 406–408, this dialogue between an unidentified bishop and Theodore—a deacon of a church in Rome—aims to point out Chrysostom as a model of what a true Christian bishop should be.

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.

Robert Bellarmine: Spiritual Writings

  • Author: Robert Bellarmine
  • Editors: John P. Donnelly and Roland J. Teske
  • Translators: John P. Donnelly and Roland J. Teske
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 416

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Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit as well as a leading theologian of the counter-Reformation, had an enormous effect on the religious life of his age. Included in this volume are two of his most influential ascetical works: The Mind’s Ascent to God, written in the tradition of Bonaventure and John Climacus, and The Art of Dying Well.

Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias

  • Author: Hildegard of Bingen
  • Translators: Columba Hart and Jane Bishop
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 576

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This work contains the 26 visions of Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179), who was the first of the great German mystics, as well as a poet and a prophet, a physician, and a political moralist. Readers will be able to find parallels between Hildegard and other prominent mystics as well as better understand their own walk of faith.

Hildegard of Bingen: Essential Writings and Chants of a Christian Mystic

  • Translator: Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook
  • Series: Skylight Illuminations
  • Publisher: Skylight Paths
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 240

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Hildegard of Bingen—visionary, abbess, composer, dramatist, poet and healer—was the brilliant and passionate precursor of many of the great women mystics of the Middle Ages. Her body of work is unusually expansive in terms of genre and subject matter for any theologian of her time, and includes powerful descriptions of her visions, advice to influential nobles and royalty, theological correspondence with fellow monastics, liturgical songs, and medical and scientific works.

Hildegard’s strong personality and vivid spiritual experiences still speak to readers within the church as well as those who are not formally religious but who have an interest in mysticism, the spiritual life, and feminist and eco-spiritualities, or who are drawn to Hildegard through the arts, particularly her music.

This unique introduction to Hildegard’s world and writings presents a wide range of her texts grouped by theme, providing a deeper understanding of this influential spiritual figure than those found in single-themed collections. Insightful and instructive annotations provide historical background and place selections within the wider context of Hildegard’s understanding of the spiritual life and the natural world.

A lively, faithful and widely accessible translation for which those familiar with the visionary’s work will be grateful and which will invite new readers into an amazing body of luminous mystical wisdom.

—Elizabeth Drescher, PhD, author, Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones

Well-chosen thematic selections. . . [The] introduction and concise annotations provide just enough historical background for any reader who desires to hear Hildegard’s voice as a fresh and inspiring testimony to the Living Light.

—Arthur Holder, PhD, professor of Christian spirituality and dean, Graduate Theological Union

Splendid. . . Each page overflows with faith and beauty, hope and love, as well as illuminating insights.

—Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author, Spiritual Writings on Mary: Annotated & Explained; featured on the BBC CD Hildegard von Bingen in Portrait

A rich overview of Hildegard’s wide-ranging work. . . reveal[s] the depth and subtlety of her insight.

—Carl McColman, author, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Befriending Silence

Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, an Episcopal priest, is a popular teacher, speaker and retreat leader on topics related to Christian spirituality, mysticism, social activism and interreligious encounter. A professor of practical theology at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont Lincoln University, and professor of Anglican studies at Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, she is author of Hildegard of Bingen: Essential Writings and Chants of a Christian Mystic—Annotated & Explained and Pilgrimage—The Sacred Art: Journey to the Center of the Heart, among other books.

Teresa of Avila: The Interior Castle

  • Author: Teresa of Avila
  • Editor: Kieran Kavanaugh
  • Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1979
  • Pages: 256

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

Teresa (1515–1582), a Spanish mystic, is considered to be one of the most profound spiritual teachers in the history of Christianity. The Interior Castle is Teresa’s masterpiece. This volume provides readers with opportunity to gain a first-hand understanding of her influeential writing and will prove to be impactful both for those seeking to research her teaching and for personal devotion.

The Story of a Soul, with Letters

  • Author: Thérèse of Lisieux
  • Editor: T. N. Taylor
  • Publisher: Burns & Oates
  • Publication Date: 1912
  • Pages: 428

Story of a Soul is the spiritual autobiography of St. Thèrése of Liseaux. Beginning with her childhood longing for the ascetic life, St. Thèrése documents the life circumstances that led her to the Carmelite tradition and her subsequent spiritual journey. Much like St. John of the Cross, St. Thèrése describes a period of prolonged darkness over her soul. Her story is one of victory and nearness to Jesus, but her spiritual journey through life was far from easy. St. Thèrése died at the early age of twenty-four and was canonized in 1914, only seventeen years after her death. Be encouraged by the story of this young saint and learn from her example of simple devotion to Jesus.

Letters

  • Author: Pope Leo the Great
  • Translator: Edmund Hunt
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1957
  • Pages: 312

As the vestiges of the Roman political machine began to collapse in the fifth century AD, the towering figure of Pope St. Leo the Great came into relief amid the rubble. Sustained by an immutable doctrine transcending institutions and cultures, the Church alone emerged from the chaos. Eventually, the Roman heritage became assimilated into Christianity and ceased to have a life of its own. It would be practically impossible to understand this monumental transition from Roman world to Christendom without taking into account the pivotal role played by Leo—and not the emperor—who went out to confront Attila and Hun. It was Leo who once averted and on another occasion mitigated the ravages of barbarian incursions.

As significant as his contribution was to history, Leo had an even greater impact on theology. When partisans of the monophysite heresy had through various machinations predetermined the outcome of a council held at Ephesus in 450, Leo immediately denounced it as a latrocinium (robbery) rather than a concilium (council). A year later—with cries of “Peter has spoken through Leo!”—the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, a pillar of Catholic Christianity, adopted in its resounding condemnation of monophysitism the very language formulated by Leo. Pope Leo also developed the most explicit and detailed affirmations known up to that time of the prerogatives enjoyed by successors if St. Peter. Many theological principles find their clearest, and certainly their most eloquent, expression in his sermons.

Leo spoke with all the refinement of a Roman orator, without the pagan trappings, and thus epitomized a Christian appropriation of the classical heritage. In the midst of it all, however, Pope St. Leo thought of himself simply as the humble servant of those entrusted to his care.

Sermons

  • Author: Pope Leo the Great
  • Translator: Jane Patricia Freeland
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 448

As the vestiges of the Roman political machine began to collapse in the fifth century AD, the towering figure of Pope St. Leo the Great came into relief amid the rubble. Sustained by an immutable doctrine transcending institutions and cultures, the Church alone emerged from the chaos. Eventually, the Roman heritage became assimilated into Christianity and ceased to have a life of its own. It would be practically impossible to understand this monumental transition from Roman world to Christendom without taking into account the pivotal role played by Leo—and not the emperor—who went out to confront Attila and Hun. It was Leo who once averted and on another occasion mitigated the ravages of barbarian incursions.

As significant as his contribution was to history, Leo had an even greater impact on theology. When partisans of the monophysite heresy had through various machinations predetermined the outcome of a council held at Ephesus in 450, Leo immediately denounced it as a latrocinium (robbery) rather than a concilium (council). A year later—with cries of “Peter has spoken through Leo!”—the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, a pillar of Catholic Christianity, adopted in its resounding condemnation of monophysitism the very language formulated by Leo. Pope Leo also developed the most explicit and detailed affirmations known up to that time of the prerogatives enjoyed by successors if St. Peter. Many theological principles find their clearest, and certainly their most eloquent, expression in his sermons.

Leo spoke with all the refinement of a Roman orator, without the pagan trappings, and thus epitomized a Christian appropriation of the classical heritage. In the midst of it all, however, Pope St. Leo thought of himself simply as the humble servant of those entrusted to his care. This volume presents the first English translation of the complete Sermons.

Questions concerning Aristotle’s On Animals

  • Author: Albert the Great
  • Translator: Irven M. Resnick and K.F. Kitchell, Jr.
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 574

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

Albert the Great is one of only a very few scholastics to comment on the entire collection of Aristotle’s biological works. This text, recovered only at the beginning of the twentieth century and never before translated in its entirety, represents Conrad of Austria’s report on a series of disputed questions that Albert the Great addressed in Cologne ca. 1258. Here, Albert adduces his own views—often criticizing other medieval physicians and natural philosophers—on comparative anatomy, human physiology, sexuality, procreation, and embryology. This translation, based on the critical edition that appeared in the Cologne edition of Albert's work, helps to explain the title “patron saint of scientists,” bestowed upon Albert by Pope Pius XII.

Albert the Great was a German Dominican friar and a Catholic bishop. He is often regarded as the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages and is honored by the Catholic Church as one of 35 Doctors of the Church.

Albert and Thomas: Selected Writings

  • Author: Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas
  • Editor: Simon Tugwell
  • Translator: Simon Tugwell
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 672

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

This volume contains writings by two thirteenth-century Dominicans, both doctors of the church. The two writers are St. Albert the Great (1200–1280), patron saint of natural scientists, and the “common doctor,” St. Thomas Aquinas. Both are famous for their contributions to philosophy and theology, but they are also both important in the history of spirituality.

On the Body of the Lord

  • Author: Albert the Great
  • Translator: Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, OP
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 472

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

Albert the Great wrote On the Body of the Lord in the 1270s, making it his final work of sacramental theology. A companion volume to his commentary on the Mass, On the Body of the Lord is a comprehensive discussion of Eucharistic theology. The treatise is structured around six names for the Eucharist taken from the Mass: grace, gift, food, communion, sacrifice, and sacrament. It emerges from the liturgy and is intended to draw the reader back to worship.

The overall movement of the treatise follows the order of God’s wisdom. Albert begins by discussing the Eucharist as a gift flowing from the goodness of the Trinity. He touches on its relation to redemption and the Church, including a rigorous Aristotelian analysis of Eucharistic change and presence before ending with a discussion of Mass rubrics. The most significant theological emphasis is on the Eucharist as food given to feed the people of God.

The style varies to suit the content: certain sections are terse; others are devotional, allowing the reader to enter the saint's own prayer. Perhaps most characteristically Albertine is an extended meditation that compares the process of digestion to the incorporation of the Christian into the Body of Christ. The mixed style allows this work to integrate rigorous aspects of scholastic thought with a fervent love for God, making On the Body of the Lord one of Albert’s most human as well as one of his most beautiful works.

On the Body of the Lord was well received, particularly in areas that came to be influenced by the devotio moderna. By 1484, three separate Latin editions had been printed, two of which were the inaugural works on new presses. In the following century the Protestant Reformation brought an end to its popularity. On the Body of the Lord is here translated into English for the first time.

Albert the Great was a German Dominican friar and a Catholic bishop. He is often regarded as the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages and is honored by the Catholic Church as one of 35 Doctors of the Church.

Funeral Orations

  • Author: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translator: Leo P. McCauley
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1953
  • Pages: 367

The Christian funeral oration is one of the most elaborate of Christian literary forms. It represents an attempt to adapt to Christian use a pagan Greek form with many hundreds of years behind it. . . . The Christian masterpieces presented in this volume reflect a long, rich, and varied pagan literary tradition in East and West, and at the same time exhibit modifications and new elements which give them their specific Christian character.

The volume presents the most generally admired ancient Christian funeral orations—four from the Greek (those of St. Gregory Nazianzen), four from the Latin (those of St. Ambrose of Milan). From the Bishop of Nazianzen, we have words spoken in honor of three kinsmen, his father, a brother, and a sister, and of the great St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea. Two of the orations from the lips of St. Ambrose are likewise for a kinsman, his brother Satyrus, while the other two are for wearers of the purple, the youthful Valentinian II and the emporor Theodosius.

Theological and Dogmatic Works

  • Author: Saint Ambrose
  • Translator: Roy J. Deferrari
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1963
  • Pages: 366

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

St. Ambrose was an archbishop of Milan and one of the most influential figures of the fourth century. He is one of the original four Doctors of the Church and Latin theologians. His writings had a direct influence on St. Augustine, and his intense ecclesiastical awareness expanded and reinforced the Church’s sacerdotal ministry and the high standards of Christian ethics. He furthered fourth-century Mariology, Christology, and soteriology, and allegedly ended Arianism in his diocese, Milan. These volumes of his collected and translated writings bring the intensity of his ancient rhetoric back to the present, allowing us an unusually full glimpse at the early church.

Hexameron, Paradise, Cain and Abel

  • Author: Saint Ambrose
  • Translator: John J. Savage
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1961
  • Pages: 468

St. Ambrose was an archbishop of Milan and one of the most influential figures of the fourth century. He is one of the original four Doctors of the Church and Latin theologians. His writings had a direct influence on St. Augustine, and his intense ecclesiastical awareness expanded and reinforced the Church’s sacerdotal ministry and the high standards of Christian ethics. He furthered fourth-century Mariology, Christology, and soteriology, and allegedly ended Arianism in his diocese, Milan. These volumes of his collected and translated writings bring the intensity of his ancient rhetoric back to the present, allowing us an unusually full glimpse at the early church.

Seven Exegetical Works

  • Author: Saint Ambrose
  • Translator: Michael P. McHugh
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1970
  • Pages: 494

St. Ambrose was an archbishop of Milan and one of the most influential figures of the fourth century. He is one of the four original Doctors of the Church and Latin theologians. His writings had a direct influence on St. Augustine, and his intense ecclesiastical awareness expanded and reinforced the Church’s sacerdotal ministry and the high standards of Christian ethics. He furthered fourth-century Mariology, Christology, and soteriology, and allegedly ended Arianism in his diocese, Milan. These volumes of his collected and translated writings bring the intensity of his ancient rhetoric back to the present, allowing us an unusually full glimpse at the early church.

Letters, 1–91

  • Author: Saint Ambrose
  • Translator: Mary Melchior Beyenka
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1954
  • Pages: 534

St. Ambrose was an archbishop of Milan and one of the most influential figures of the fourth century. He is one of the original four Doctors of the Church and Latin theologians. His writings had a direct influence on St. Augustine, and his intense ecclesiastical awareness expanded and reinforced the Church’s sacerdotal ministry and the high standards of Christian ethics. He furthered fourth-century Mariology, Christology, and soteriology, and allegedly ended Arianism in his diocese, Milan. These volumes of his collected and translated writings bring the intensity of his ancient rhetoric back to the present, allowing us an unusually full glimpse at the early church.

Writings

  • Author: Saint John of Damascus
  • Translator: Frederic H. Chase, Jr.
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1958
  • Pages: 475

St. John of Damascus (ca. 675–749) is generally regarded as the last great figure of Greek Patrology. Outstandingly important for his support of images in the Iconoclastic Controversy, this priest-monk of St. Sabbas near Jerusalem is known also for his treatment of Christian morality and asceticism (the Sacred Parallels), for a small but precious group of powerful sermons, and even for verse contributions to the Greek liturgy. His reputation rests mainly, however, on one of his latest writings, the Fount of Wisdom. This relatively brief work is called by the late Fr. Chase, its new translator, “the first real Summa Theologica”; and its most significant section was in fact known, in Latin translation, to Peter Lombard and St. Thomas Aquinas.

The first part of the Fount of Wisdom, “Philosophical Chapters” (“Dialectica”), goes back to Aristotle mainly and, through Maximus the Confessor, to Plato. Epiphanius is the chief source of Part Two, with its exposition of 103 heresies. The third and most important section of the work, “On the Orthodox Faith,” is a comprehensive presentation of the teaching of the Greek Fathers on the main doctrines of Christianity, especially the Trinity, Creation, and the Incarnation. But what emerges is not a compilation but rather a synthesis, marked by originality in the mode of treatment and by a remarkable clarity of expression. In all three of its parts the Damascene’s Fount of Wisdom is “an indispensable aid to the study of the Greek Christian tradition.”

Summa Doctrinae Christianae, vol. 1

  • Author: St. Peter Canisius
  • Publisher: Apud C. Kollmann
  • Publication Date: 1833
  • Pages: 550

The Summa Doctrinae Christianae, or Sum of Christian Doctrine, is a catechism on the Catholic faith presented here in its original Latin. In a question and answer format, topics covered include the Nicene Creed, the Ten Commandments, charity, justice, confession, and more.

St. Peter Canisius was born in 1541 and became the first Dutchman to join the Jesuits order of the Society of Jesus. He oversaw the founding of the early German Jesuit colleges, and many praise his work as saving Catholicism in Germany after the Reformation. A popular teacher and preacher, his Sum of Christian Doctrine was published into fifteen languages during his lifetime.

Summa Doctrinae Christianae, vol. 2

  • Author: St. Peter Canisius
  • Publisher: Apud C. Kollmann
  • Publication Date: 1833
  • Pages: 551

The Summa Doctrinae Christianae, or Sum of Christian Doctrine, is a catechism on the Catholic faith presented here in its original Latin. In a question and answer format, topics covered include the Nicene Creed, the Ten Commandments, charity, justice, confession, and more.

St. Peter Canisius was born in 1541 and became the first Dutchman to join the Jesuits order of the Society of Jesus. He oversaw the founding of the early German Jesuit colleges, and many praise his work as saving Catholicism in Germany after the Reformation. A popular teacher and preacher, his Sum of Christian Doctrine was published into fifteen languages during his lifetime.

John of the Cross: Selected Writings

  • Author: John of the Cross
  • Editor: Kieran Kavanaugh
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 326

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

This volume contains carefully chosen texts that give a picture of the “essential” St. John of the Cross (1542–1591), a Spanish Carmelite. Included are selections from The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night, and Spiritual Canticle.

Ascetical Works

  • Author: Basil of Caesarea
  • Translator: M. Monica Wagner
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1950
  • Pages: 537

His zealous and intrepid defense of the orthodox faith and his contribution to handling the external affairs of the Eastern Church were by no means the whole service to which St. Basil the Great devoted his considerable talents. His life both exemplified and shaped the ascetical movement of his time. After renouncing a brilliant career as rhetorician, he traveled widely, studying the various forms of asceticism practiced in Eastern Christendom. On his return, he retired in the year 358 to a place near Neocaesarea to put into practice the best of what he had seen, and there disciples soon joined him. When his friend Gregory of Nazianzus visited him there in 358, he began to write his Rules and other works that have had great importance in promoting and regulating the common life of monasticism. This life, regulated and freed from excess, as an expression of the law of charity was to be the monk’s path to union with God. Basil’s concept of the monastic ideal, socially directed and moderate without being lax, became the fundamental concept of Greek and Slavonic monasticism, and it influenced St. Benedict in legislating for Western monasticism.

The ascetical writings of St. Basil contained in this volume, addressed to both monks and laymen, are of prime importance for understanding the role their author played in the Church of the fourth century and, through his influence, still plays today.

Letters, vol. 1 (1–185)

  • Author: Basil of Caesarea
  • Translator: Agnes Clare Way
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1951
  • Pages: 363

The letters of St. Basil, 368 in number, which comprise the most vivid and most personal portion of his works, give us, perhaps, the clearest insight into the wealth of his rich and varied genius. They were written within the years from 357, shortly before his retreat to the Pontus, until his death in 378, a period of great unrest and persecution of the orthodox Catholic Church in the East. Their variety is striking, ranging from simple friendly greetings to profound explanations of doctrine, from playful reproaches to severe denunciations of transgressions, from kindly recommendations to earnest petitions for justice, from gentle messages of sympathy to bitter lamentations over the evils inflicted upon or existent in the churches.

As may be expected, the style in these letters is as varied as their subject matter. Those written in his official capacity as pastor of the Church, as well as the letters of recommendation and the canonical letters, are naturally more formal in tone, while the friendly letters, and those of appeal, admonition, and encouragement, and, more especially, those of consolation, show St. Basil’s sophistic training, although even in these he uses restraint. He had the technique of ancient rhetoric at his fingertips, but he also had a serious purpose and a sense of fitness of things. To St. Basil’s letters can be ascribed the qualities he attributed to the heartily approved book written by Diodorus, which qualities may be summed up as fullness of thought, clearness, simplicity, and naturalness of style. He himself disapproved of a too ornate style and carefully avoided it. His early education, however, had trained him for the use of rich diction and varied and charming figures, and, when the occasion warranted it, he proved himself a master in their use.

Whether we look at them from an historical, an ecclesiastical, or a theological point of view, the letters are an important contribution.

Letters, vol. 2 (186–368)

  • Author: Basil of Caesarea
  • Translator: Agnes Clare Way
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1955
  • Pages: 386

The letters of St. Basil, 368 in number, which comprise the most vivid and most personal portion of his works, give us, perhaps, the clearest insight into the wealth of his rich and varied genius. They were written within the years from 357, shortly before his retreat to the Pontus, until his death in 378, a period of great unrest and persecution of the orthodox Catholic Church in the East. Their variety is striking, ranging from simple friendly greetings to profound explanations of doctrine, from playful reproaches to severe denunciations of transgressions, from kindly recommendations to earnest petitions for justice, from gentle messages of sympathy to bitter lamentations over the evils inflicted upon or existent in the churches.

As may be expected, the style in these letters is as varied as their subject matter. Those written in his official capacity as pastor of the Church, as well as the letters of recommendation and the canonical letters, are naturally more formal in tone, while the friendly letters, and those of appeal, admonition, and encouragement, and, more especially, those of consolation, show St. Basil’s sophistic training, although even in these he uses restraint. He had the technique of ancient rhetoric at his fingertips, but he also had a serious purpose and a sense of fitness of things. To St. Basil’s letters can be ascribed the qualities he attributed to the heartily approved book written by Diodorus, which qualities may be summed up as fullness of thought, clearness, simplicity, and naturalness of style. He himself disapproved of a too ornate style and carefully avoided it. His early education, however, had trained him for the use of rich diction and varied and charming figures, and, when the occasion warranted it, he proved himself a master in their use.

Whether we look at them from an historical, an ecclesiastical, or a theological point of view, the letters are an important contribution.

Exegetic Homilies

  • Author: Basil of Caesarea
  • Translator: Agnes Clare Way
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1963
  • Pages: 394

These exegetical homilies explore numerous Psalms and the Hexaemeron—and ancient theological treatise on the six-day creation account. These writings on the Hexaemeron are the earliest written and were noted to be extremely popular among the educated Christians of his era, and display a profound devotion to God and evidence of his goodness in the workings of creation.

Against Eunomius

  • Author: Basil of Caesarea
  • Translators: M. DelCogliano and A. Radde-Gallwitz
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 222

Basil of Caesarea is considered one of the architects of the Pro-Nicene Trinitarian doctrine adopted at the Council of Constantinople in 381, which eastern and western Christians to this day profess as “orthodox.” Nowhere is his Trinitarian theology more clearly expressed than in his first major doctrinal work, Against Eunomius, finished in 364 or 365 CE. Responding to Eunomius, whose Apology gave renewed impetus to a tradition of starkly subordinationist Trinitarian theology that would survive for decades, Basil’s Against Eunomius reflects the intense controversy raging at that time among Christians across the Mediterranean world over who God is.

In this treatise, Basil attempts to articulate a theology both of God’s unitary essence and of the distinctive features that characterize the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a distinction that some hail as the cornerstone of “Cappadocian” theology. In Against Eunomius, we see the clash not simply of two dogmatic positions on the doctrine of the Trinity, but of two fundamentally opposed theological methods. Basil’s treatise is as much about how theology ought to be done and what human beings can and cannot know about God as it is about the exposition of Trinitarian doctrine. Thus Against Eunomius marks a turning point in the Trinitarian debates of the fourth century, for the first time addressing the methodological and epistemological differences that gave rise to theological differences. Amidst the polemical vitriol of Against Eunomius is a call to epistemological humility on the part of the theologian, a call to recognize the limitations of even the best theology.

While Basil refined his theology through the course of his career, Against Eunomius remains a testament to his early theological development and a privileged window into the Trinitarian controversies of the mid-fourth century.

On Social Justice

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

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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 Christian Doctrine and Practice

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

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

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.

Three Poems

  • Author: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translator: Denis Molaise Meehan
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 154

Raised in a multi-generational Christian family, Gregory of Nazianzus was also well-educated, well-traveled, and tutored in almost every discipline of the Greek arts, philosophies, sciences, and literatures. Among his studies must have included Homer, Hesiod, Apollonius of Rhodes, Thucydides, Plutarch, Herodotus, Lucian, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle—the list goes on. The numerous poems written by Gregory had a profound influence over Byzantine hymnology, although, beyond that, they largely provide a treasure trove of autobiographical and historical data. The poem Concerning His Own Life is the earliest known Christian autobiography, and probably had a direct influence on Augustine’s Confessions.

Select Orations

  • Author: Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Translator: Martha Vinson
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 274

This translation makes available nineteen orations by the fourth-century Cappadocian father Gregory of Nazianzus. Most are appearing here in English for the first time. These homilies span all the phases of Gregory’s ecclesiastical career, beginning with his service as a parish priest assisting his father, the elder Gregory, in his hometown of Nazianzus in the early 360s, to his stormy tenure as bishop of Constantinople from 379 to 381, to his subsequent return to Nazianzus and role as interim caretaker of his home church (382–383). Composed in a variety of rhetorical formats such as the lalia and encomium, the sermons treat topics that range from the purely theological to the deeply personal.

Up until now, Gregory has been known primarily for his contributions as a theologian, indifferent to the social and political concerns that consumed his friend Basil. This view will change. It has been due in large measure to the interests and prejudices of the nineteenth-century editors who excluded the sermons translated here from the Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Church. This new translation will help the English-speaking reader appreciate just how deeply Gregory was engaged in the social and political issues of his day.

Exemplifying the perfect synthesis of classical and Christian paideia, these homilies will be required reading for anyone interested in late antiquity. The introduction and notes accompanying the translation will assist both the specialist and the general reader as they seek to navigate the complex environment in which Gregory lived and worked.

On God and Man

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

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

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

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

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.

Festal Orations

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

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

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.

Commentary on the Gospel of John: Chapters 1–21

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Editors: Daniel Keating and Matthew Levering
  • Translators: Fabian Larcher and James Weisheipl
  • Series: Thomas Aquinas in Translation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 943

Thomas Aquinas possessed excellent knowledge of the commentaries of Origen, John Chrysostom, and Augustine. On the basis of this foundation, he produced his own commentary on the Gospel of John as part of his task as a Master of the Sacred Page. Considered a landmark theological introduction to the Fourth Gospel, these lectures were delivered to Dominican friars when Aquinas was at the height of his theological powers, when he was also composing the Summa Theologiae. For numerous reasons, the Summa has received far more attention over the centuries than has his Commentary on the Gospel of John. However, scholars today recognize Aquinas’ biblical commentaries as central sources for understanding his theological vision and for appreciating the scope of his Summa Theologiae.

The first English translation of Aquinas’ Commentary on the Gospel of John by Fabian Larcher and James Weisheipl, now long out of print, is available to scholars and students once again with this edition. Published in three volumes simultaneously, it includes a new introduction and notes pointing readers to the links between Aquinas’ biblical commentary and his Summa Theologiae. When a verse from the Gospel of John is directly quoted in the Summa Theologiae, the editors note this in the commentary. Aquinas’ patristic sources, including Origen and Augustine, are carefully identified and referenced to the Patriologia Latina and Patrologia Graeca. The commentary’s connections with Aquinas’ Catena Aurea are also identified.

While the most significant aspect of the publication is Aquinas’ text itself, the introduction and notes provide excellent aides to the reader and enrich the text. Daniel Keating and Matthew Levering contribute a clear and helpful introduction to the translation, providing brief but very useful explanatory notes about early writers and controversies.

—David M. Gallagher, consulting scholar at the James Madison Program, Princeton University

An Exposition of the “On the Hebdomads” of Boethius

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translators: Janice L. Schultz and E. Synan
  • Series: Thomas Aquinas in Translation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 132

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

In his sixth-century work commonly known as the De Hebdomadibus, Boethius (ca. 480–524) poses the question of how created things or substances can be good just as they are—that is, good just by existing—without being the same as the source of all goodness, God, who is understood to be Goodness Itself. In his commentary written in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas sets out to explain the problem Boethius is treating as well as to explicate Boethius’ solution. In doing so, however, the Angelic Doctor suggests a more developed analysis of goodness, based on his own metaphysical perspective.

The introduction to this translation provides critical historical background, including an account of the influence of Cicero and Augustine, for understanding Boethius’ view of being, or esse. Based on historical and textual analysis, the authors reaffirm the “traditional” interpretation, which holds that, for Boethius, esse indicates form rather than a distinct act of being. In articulating the difference between Boethius’ and Aquinas’ positions on esse and goodness, and hence the relation of esse and goodness, Schultz and Synan show not only that Aquinas was respectful of Boethius’ stance, but that his own position could be seen as a development in harmony with his predecessor’s thought.

This edition presents the English translation with the 1992 Leonine critical edition of Aquinas’ Latin text for easy comparison. The work will be valuable to those interested in the fundamental philosophical and theological questions facing mediaeval thinkers and Aquinas’ metaphysical thought in particular.

What emerges from this fascinating book is an account by the last Roman of goodness and existence, an active interpretation of that work by the Angelic Doctor, and a helpful introductory essay, in which the translators discuss the mechanics of Thomas’ reinterpretation. Consequently, this volume will be important for people with a rather large range of interests—metaphysics, late ancient philosophy, hermeneutics . . . The book is an outstanding piece of work.

The Heythrop Journal

Janice L. Schultz is professor of philosophy at Canisius College and the author of numerous articles on Thomistic ethical theory.

Edward A. Synan (1918–1997) was senior fellow emeritus at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Toronto. He was the author of eight books and many articles and reviews on mediaeval thought as well as Jewish-Christian relations.

Commentaries on Aristotle’s “On Sense and What Is Sensed” and “On Memory and Recollection”

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translators: Kevin White and Edward Macierowski
  • Series: Thomas Aquinas in Translation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 268

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

In traditional catalogues of Aristotle’s works, On Sense and What Is Sensed and On Memory and Recollection are the immediate sequels to his On the Soul, and the first two books of his so-called Parva Naturalia, or “little works in natural philosophy.” In keeping with this order, Thomas Aquinas began his series of Aristotelian commentaries with a commentary on On the Soul, which he followed with commentaries on On Sense and What Is Sensed and On Memory and Recollection, written in 1268–1270. Until now, these latter two commentaries have never been published in English translation. The translations presented in this volume are based on the critical Leonine edition of the commentaries, which includes the Latin translations of the Aristotelian texts on which Aquinas commented. The volume includes English translations of these Latin translations, allowing the reader to compare Aristotelian text and Thomistic commentary in detail. The translations of both commentaries are furnished with introductions and notes by the translators.

This volume does the great service of making Aquinas’ commentaries on these two short works available in English for the first time. This volume makes a serious and worthwhile contribution to the study of Aquinas, Aristotle, and the tradition to which they both belong.

Arthur Madigan, former chair of philosophy, University of Munich

The translations are clear and literate . . . [of] immediate interest to specialists in medieval philosophy and Thomists, especially in so far as it helps to clarify questions of psychology and epistemology in Aquinas’ thinking about the soul (anima).

The Classical Outlook

Kevin White is associate professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of America.

Edward M. Macierowski is associate professor of philosophy and classical languages at Benedictine College.

Commentary on the Book of Causes

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translators: Vincent A. Guagliarod, Charles R. Hess, and Richard C. Taylor
  • Series: Thomas Aquinas in Translation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 193

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

The Book of Causes, highly influential in the medieval university, was commonly, but incorrectly, understood to be the completion of Aristotle’s metaphysics. It was Thomas Aquinas who first judged it to have been abstracted from Proclus’ Elements of Theology, presumably by an unknown Arabic author, who added to it ideas of his own.

The Book of Causes is of particular interest because themes that appear in it are echoed in the metaphysics of Aquinas: its treatment of being (esse) as proceeding from the First Creating Cause; the triadic scheme of being, living, and knowing; and the general scheme of participation in which “all is in all.” Thus, the Book of Causes provides a historical backdrop for understanding and appreciating Aquinas’ development of these themes in his metaphysics.

Thomas’ Commentary on the Book of Causes, composed during the first half of 1272, is a distinct philosophical work in its own right. It provides an extended view of his approach to Neoplatonic thought and functions as a guide to his metaphysics. Though long neglected and, until now, never translated into English, it deserves an equal place alongside his commentaries on Aristotle and Boethius.

In addition to the extensive annotation, bibliography, and thorough introduction, this translation is accompanied by two valuable appendixes. The first provides a translation of another version of proposition 29 of the Book of Causes, which was not known to St. Thomas. The second lists citations of the Book of Causes found in the works of St. Thomas and cross-references these to a list showing the works, and the exact location within them, where the citations can be found.

Vincent A. Guagliardo (1944–1995) was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 1971. He received a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union and was chair and professor of philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California.

Charles R. Hess, OP, is an adjunct lecturer in ecclesiastical Latin at the Dominican School in Berkeley, California.

Richard C. Taylor is associate professor of philosophy at Marquette University. His area of specialty is ancient and medieval philosophy.

On Love and Charity: Readings from the Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translators: Peter A. Kwasniewski, Thomas Bolin, and Joseph Bolin
  • Series: Thomas Aquinas in Translation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 404

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

Among the great works of Thomas Aquinas, the Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard has suffered almost total neglect among translators. Such neglect is surprising, considering that the massive commentary—more than 4,000 pages in the last printed edition—is not only Aquinas’ first systematic engagement with all the philosophical and theological topics on which he expended his energy over the span of a short career, but is also characterized by an exuberance and elaborateness seldom found in his subsequent writings. Although Chenu had already drawn attention decades ago to the importance of studying this youthful tour de force for a fuller understanding of Thomas’ more mature work, the Commentary on the Sentences has remained a closed book for many modern students of Thomistic and medieval thought because of its relative inaccessibility in English or in Latin.

The present volume, containing all the major texts on love and charity, makes available what is by far the most extensive translation ever to be made from the commentary with the added benefit that the better part of the translation is based on the (as yet unpublished) critical edition of the Leonine Commission. The collection of texts from all four books has a tight thematic coherence that makes it invaluable to students of Thomas’ moral philosophy, moral theology, and philosophical theology. In addition, the inclusion of parallel texts from Aquinas’ first (Parisian) commentary as well as from his second (Roman) attempt at a commentary, the recently rediscovered Lectura Romana, makes this edition all the more valuable for those who wish to track the internal development of Thomas’ thinking on these matters.

[T]he present volume contains by far the most extensive English translation from the Scriptum to date . . . The translators of On Love and Charity have aimed to give a translation which is neither too literal nor too liberal, trying to find the golden mean between an unintelligibly Latinized or an enjoyable but unfaithful English version . . . This impressive volume will be of a great help for those wishing to study Aquinas and the issue of love in more depth.

Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses

Peter A. Kwasniewski is associate professor of philosophy and theology at Wyoming Catholic College and editor of Wisdom’s Apprentice: Thomistic Essays in Honor of Lawrence Dewan, O.P.

Thomas Bolin, OSB, is a monk at the Monastero di San Benedetto in Norcia, Italy and is pursuing doctoral studies at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

Joseph Bolin is adjunct professor of philosophy at the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, and adjunct instructor of Latin for the Austrian Program of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

On Creation [Quaestiones Disputatae de Potentia Dei, Q. 3]

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translator: Susan C. Selner-Wright
  • Series: Thomas Aquinas in Translation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 202

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

Thomas Aquinas wrote his Disputed Questions on the Power of God (Quaestiones Disputatae de Potentia Dei) in Rome in 1265–1266. Begun, though probably not completed, before he wrote the first part of his famous work, the Summa Theologiae, the de Potentia Dei considered 10 questions that evoked lively debate in Thomas’ day and continue to do so in our own.

This volume includes a new English translation of Question 3, in which Thomas takes up questions and ideas about divine and human freedom, whether or not the world is created, the problem of evil, the efficacy of creatures, and the status of the developing human embryo. It offers a comprehensive treatment of creation and the metaphysics and anthropology Thomas employs in considering the general creation of the universe and the particular creation of each human being.

Susan C. Selner-Wright’s translation of the critical Leonine edition is intended to make Thomas’ contribution to the current discussion more accessible. It constitutes a focused but extended example of Thomas at the height of his intellectual powers. We find him here in conversation with 50 different source works, engaged with the ideas of pagan, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish thought, and demonstrating his understanding of philosophy and theology as distinct but complementary disciplines. Throughout the text, Selner-Wright directs the reader to Thomas’ own sources, related texts elsewhere in Thomas’ corpus, and secondary sources. Philosophical notes give background for particular claims or arguments and trace important philosophical principles at work throughout the text.

Susan C. Selner-Wright is associate professor of philosophy at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary.

Summa Theologica (English)

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translation: Fathers of the English Dominican Province
  • Publisher: Burns, Oates & Washbourn
  • Publication Date: 1912–1936
  • Pages: 7,000+

The Summa Theologica represents the pinnacle of medieval theology and is arguably the most influential theological work in the history of Western Christianity.

In this massive tome, Thomas Aquinas outlines the reasons and meaning of all of Christian theology. As a theologian, Aquinas articulates the goals, purpose, and enterprise of theology, and gives theology a prominent place in scholarship, calling theology “the queen of sciences.” As a scholastic, Aquinas sought to understand Christian theology in light of the rediscovery of Aristotle’s works in the twelfth century, and redefined the relationship between revelation and reason, science and theology, and faith and philosophy for the next eight centuries. As a philosopher, Aquinas developed principles of just war and natural law, and outlined an argument for God’s existence from contingency—the intellectual forerunner to the modern Argument from Design. As an aesthetic, Aquinas articulated a vision of God’s beauty, and his aesthetic influence can be felt in the writings of literary figures as diverse as Dante Alighieri, James Joyce, and Umberto Eco.

The Logos edition of the Summa Theologica combines the 8-volume Latin text and the 22-volume English text into two individual electronic books, which means you can utilize the power of your digital library to read the Latin and English side-by-side!

It is certainly clear that the Summa Theologica can only be the work of a heart fundamentally at peace.

—Joseph Pieper

I couldn’t make any judgment on the Summa, except to say this: I read it every night before I go to bed. If my mother were to come in during the process and say, ‘Turn off that light. It’s late,” I with lifted finger and broad bland beatific expression, would reply, ‘On the contrary, I answer that the light, being eternal and limitless, cannot be turned off. Shut your eyes,’ or some such thing. In any case I feel I can personally guarantee that St. Thomas loved God because for the life of me I cannot help loving St. Thomas.

—Flannery O’Connor

Summa Theologica (Latin)

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Publisher: Burns, Oates & Washbourn
  • Publication Date: 1912–1936
  • Language: Latin
  • Pages: 3,000+

The Summa Theologica represents the pinnacle of medieval theology and is arguably the most influential theological work in the history of Western Christianity.

In this massive tome, Thomas Aquinas outlines the reasons and meaning of all of Christian theology. As a theologian, Aquinas articulates the goals, purpose, and enterprise of theology, and gives theology a prominent place in scholarship, calling theology “the queen of sciences.” As a scholastic, Aquinas sought to understand Christian theology in light of the rediscovery of Aristotle’s works in the twelfth century, and redefined the relationship between revelation and reason, science and theology, and faith and philosophy for the next eight centuries. As a philosopher, Aquinas developed principles of just war and natural law, and outlined an argument for God’s existence from contingency—the intellectual forerunner to the modern Argument from Design. As an aesthetic, Aquinas articulated a vision of God’s beauty, and his aesthetic influence can be felt in the writings of literary figures as diverse as Dante Alighieri, James Joyce, and Umberto Eco.

The Logos edition of the Summa Theologica combines the 8-volume Latin text and the 22-volume English text into two individual electronic books, which means you can utilize the power of your digital library to read the Latin and English side-by-side!

Summa contra Gentiles

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translator: Fathers of the English Dominican
  • Publisher: Burns Oates & Washbourne
  • Publication Dates: 1923–1929
  • Pages: 1,265

As the most influential apologetic work of the Western Church, the Summa contra Gentiles has shaped and defined theological and philosophical inquiry for hundreds of years. This vast work aims to establish the truth of the Christian religion by laying out a defense of the Christian faith from the perspective of both faith and reason. In doing so, Thomas Aquinas helps establish the method, purpose, and grounding for both theology and philosophy.

The Summa contra Gentiles is divided into four books. In the first three books, Aquinas is concerned the lay out a defense of the Christian faith from the perspective of natural theology—the common ground between “Christians and infidels.” These books contain arguments for the existence of God, discussions of ethics and morality, and other statements about God and the world which can be derived from the faculties of reason. Each section describes and defends God’s knowledge, God’s actions in creation, and the purpose and fulfillment—the telos—of all things in God. The fourth and final book of Summa contra Gentiles delineates the knowledge received through divine revelation, such as the Incarnation, the Trinity, and the Resurrection.

The English translation of the Summa contra Gentiles by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province is the first unabridged English translation. This translation was first published during the 1920s by Burns Oates & Washbourne and has been reprinted numerous times throughout the twentieth century. The Logos edition of Summa contra Gentiles combines 4 volumes into one electronic book.

The Academic Sermons

  • Author: Thomas Aquinas
  • Translator: Mark-Robin Hoogland
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 358

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

The philosophical and theological works of St. Thomas Aquinas are held in universal esteem. His commentaries on Scripture and the role of Scripture in his theological works have garnered considerable attention. Yet Aquinas’ academic sermons delivered on Sundays and special occasions have been widely overlooked.

Though hundreds of medieval sermons are attributed to Thomas Aquinas, the Leonine Commission has identified only 20 as his. This book features all 20 sermons, and one whose authenticity has been debated, translated from the original Latin texts, five of which have never been published before. An introduction and notes accompany the first-ever English translation. The Academic Sermons will fascinate readers as it presents Thomas’ unique style of preaching and how he skillfully communicated the fruits of his contemplation. With this book, Thomas the preacher comes to the fore.

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) entered the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino at the age of five to begin his studies. He was transferred to the University of Naples at age 16, where he became acquainted with the revival of Aristotle and the Order of the Dominicans. Aquinas went on to study in Cologne in 1244 and Paris in 1245. He then returned to Cologne in 1248, where he became a lecturer.

Aquinas’s career as a theologian took him all over Europe. In addition to regularly lecturing and teaching in cities throughout Europe, Aquinas participated regularly in public life and advised both kings and popes. Thomas Aquinas also profoundly influenced the history of Protestantism. He wrote prolifically on the relationship between faith and reason, as well as the theological and philosophical issues which defined the Reformation.

The Trinity

  • Author: Hilary of Poitiers
  • Translator: Stephen McKenna
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1954
  • Pages: 574

Named Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX, St. Hilary was a gifted orator, a zealous Christian philosopher, and a defender of orthodoxy. He often did theological battle with the Anomoeans and the Semi-Arians, and traveled across Europe to bring the local bishops out of the hold of Arianism. Here, twelve books on the Trinity by St. Hilary are compiled, bringing his throughts together on the deity, sonship, and interrelationship of God.

Commentary on Matthew

  • Author: Hilary of Poitiers
  • Translator: D. H. Williams
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 324

When the writing of Latin biblical commentaries was still in its infancy, a young bishop from Poitiers, in Gaul, penned a passage-by-passage exposition on the Gospel of Matthew. It is the first of its kind to have survived almost completely intact. Published now for the first time in English translation, Hilary’s commentary offers a close look at Latin theology and exegesis before the Nicene Creed was considered the sole standard of orthodoxy.

Likely the earliest of Hilary’s writings, this commentary has none of the polemic against the “Arians” that figured so prominently in most of his later works. Nonetheless, there exists in this text an oft-stated concern with those who interpreted the Incarnation as grounds for construing Christ as only a man rather than professing Christ as God and man.

Other noteworthy features of the commentary include Hilary’s interest in the relation between Law and Gospel and his articulation of a Pauline-based view of justification by faith. In his view, the importance of the Law before the Gospel was indisputable and necessary. For Jews, it was considered the way of redemption. With the advent of Christ, it became an eschatological guide directing all future believers into the grace that comes by faith. Hilary’s emphasis on God’s righteousness conferred on a helpless race represents a far more pronounced application of Paul’s thought than in any previous Latin writer.

An Introduction to the Devout Life

  • Author: Francis de Sales
  • Publisher: M.H. Gill & Son
  • Publication Date: 1885
  • Pages: 286

St. Francis de Sales began An Introduction to the Devout Life as a correspondence with a married women looking to increase her spiritual devotion in the midst of a busy life; the result was a layman’s guide to the spiritual life. Each chapter is a short meditation designed to challenge and refocus the believer towards an authentic Christian life. At nearly 120 chapters, An Introduction to the Devout Life is the perfect companion for jump-starting a devotional routine or continuing a life-long journey toward spiritual maturity.

Letters to Persons in Religion

  • Author: Francis de Sales
  • Publisher: Burns and Oates, Benziger Brothers
  • Publication Date: 1909
  • Pages: 271

A prolific letter writer and teacher, St. Francis de Sales wrote hundreds of letters to those seeking spiritual counsel. Letters to Persons in the Religion is divided into six sections:

  • Letters Previous to the Founding of the Visitation
  • Earlier Letters to Sisters of the Visitation
  • Later Letters to Sisters of the Visitation
  • Further Letters to Religious Outside the Visitation
  • General Instructions to Sisters of the Visitation
  • Letters for Various Festivals

Letters to Persons in the World

  • Author: Francis de Sales
  • Publisher: Burns and Oates, Benziger Brothers
  • Publication Date: 1894
  • Pages: 463

A prolific letter writer and teacher, St. Francis de Sales wrote hundreds of letters to those seeking spiritual counsel. Letters to Persons in the World is divided into seven sections:

  • Letters to Young Ladies
  • Letters to Married Women
  • Letters to Widows
  • Letters to Men of the World
  • Various Letters
  • Various Letters Continued
  • Letters of the Saint about Himself

Of the Love of God

  • Author: Francis de Sales
  • Publisher: Rivingtons
  • Publication Date: 1888
  • Pages: 420

St. Francis de Sales’ treatise on the love of God is divided into 12 areas of study:

  • Introduction to the Whole Treatise
  • The Origin of Divine Love
  • The Progress and Perfection of Love
  • The Decay and Ruin of Charity
  • The Two Chief Acts of Divine Love, Which Are Complacency and Benevolence
  • The Practice of Holy Love in Prayer and Meditation
  • The Union of the Soul with Its God as Perfected By Prayer
  • The Love of Conformity, By Which We Unite Our Will to That of God
  • The Love of Submission, By Which Our Will is United to God's Good Pleasure
  • The Command to Love God Above All Things
  • The Supreme Authority of Love Over All the Soul’s Virtues, Actions, and Perfections
  • Counsels Concerning the Soul’s Advance in Divine Love

The Mystical Explanation of the Canticle of Canticles and The Depositions of St. Jane Frances de Chantal in the Cause of the Canonisation of St. Francis de Sales

  • Author: Francis de Sales
  • Publisher: Burns and Oates, Benziger Brothers
  • Publication Date: 1908
  • Pages: 254

Found in a box by St. Jane Frances de Chantal 15 years after his death, The Mystical Explanation of the Canticle of Canticles contains St. Francis de Sales’ explanation of the Canticle of Canticles set out in the form of a meditation. The Depositions of St. Jane Frances de Chantal contains the list of deposition questions provided to St. Jane Frances de Chantal about St. Francis de Sales during the investigation for his canonization, and the answers she provided.

The Spiritual Conferences

  • Author: Francis de Sales
  • Publisher: Burns and Oates, Benziger Brothers
  • Publication Date: 1909
  • Pages: 406

The Spiritual Conferences are a collection of instructions addressed to the Sisters of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. For over two years St. Francis de Sales delivered these 21 discourses in the orchards outside of the order. Topics include confidence, cordiality, humility, generosity, and more.

The Letters of Peter Damian: 1–30

  • Author: Peter Damian
  • Translator: Owen J. Blum
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 312

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This first volume of the Letters of Peter Damian contains the first 30 letters, and covers the period before 1049. Here we see Peter Damian as an untiring preacher and uncompromising reformer, both of the monastic world and of the church at large. He attacks clerical laxity and monastic decadence in letter after letter. The first letter in the collection is of particular interest, containing a theological consideration of the Christian position against the Jews. Other important letters in this first volume are Damian’s allegorical interpretation of the Divine Office, his letters on the Last Days and the Judgment, on canonical and legal points (such as the prohibited degrees of consanguinity in marriage), and on liturgical matters, particularly in monastic observance.

Peter Damian (1007–1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over 180 letters have been preserved, principally from Damian’s own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or “Peter the Sinner” as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform.

The Letters of Peter Damian: 31–60

  • Author: Peter Damian
  • Translator: Owen J. Blum
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 422

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This second volumes of the Mediaeval Continuation contains Letters 31–60 of Peter Damian. While his epistolary style is varied—exhortatory, occasional, pastoral, reforming—his message is singular and simple in urging strict adherence to the canons of the Church.

Letters 31 and 40 are long treatises, each published separately in critical editions. Letter 31, also known as the Book of Gomorrah, deplores the degradation of the priesthood through the vice of sodomy and appeals to Pope Leo IX to educate and purge the clergy. Letter 40, perhaps his most celebrated work, is also called the Liber Gratissimus.

Among the more personal letters are 55 and 57. In the former he writes of a long, debilitating illness, so serious that funeral preparations had been made, and of his immediate recovery when his brethren gave food to one hundred poor people. In the latter, he begs to be relieved of the administration of the diocese of Gubbio because of ill health, so that he may return to Fonte Avellana and his “beloved solitude.”

Letter 58, to Henry the archbishop of Ravenna in 1058, is the best example in the collection of Peter Damian’s political and ecclesiastical influence. In it he gives his opinion of Benedict X and Nicholas II, the two candidates for the Apostolic See. He makes no effort to conceal his strong opinions but rather requests that this letter be made public so that all may learn what he has thought about the subject.

Peter Damian (1007–1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over 180 letters have been preserved, principally from Damian’s own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or “Peter the Sinner” as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform.

The Letters of Peter Damian: 61–90

  • Author: Peter Damian
  • Translator: Owen J. Blum
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 397

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This third volume of The Letters of Peter Damian is a careful, fluent, and annotated translation of Letters 61–90. These letters reveal the author’s concern with the contemporary need for reforms, centering on clerical, especially episcopal, celibacy and on the “heresy” of simony which involved the purchase of ecclesiastical offices. In Letter 89, for example, Damian addresses the Selvismatic attempt of antipope Honorius II (Cadalus of Parma) to circumvent the election of Alexander II by the newly organized college of cardinal bishops. Also, among the letters here presented are several of a highly spiritual, even mystical content. These letters demonstrate that this active reformer was at heart a solitary soul who, when away from home, longed for his “beloved solitude,” where he could practice the contemplative life. Eventually, Damian grew weary of his efforts at reform and asked to be retired from his office of cardinal bishop of Ostia.

Because Damian’s Latin was a living language that surpasses the ability of classical Latin lexicography to cope with it, all disciplines that make use of medieval thought will welcome this English translation. Owen J. Blum’s thorough notes to each letter indicate the vocabulary problems he encountered and how they were resolved. This third volume, like its companions, uses Damian's thought to understand an important and gripping period in the history of church and state. With these intimate revelations into his character and motivation, readers may more readily appreciate Damian's total dedication to his mission.

Peter Damian (1007–1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over 180 letters have been preserved, principally from Damian’s own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or “Peter the Sinner” as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform.

The Letters of Peter Damian: 91–120

  • Author: Peter Damian
  • Translator: Owen J. Blum
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 418

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Written during the years 1062–1066, these letters deal with a wide variety of subjects. Some letters are of historical interest, others approach the size and scope of philosophical or theological treatises. Damian’s correspondents range from simple hermits in his community to abbots, bishops, cardinals, and even to Pope Alexander II. Among these letters are to be found one addressed to the patriarch of Constantinople, two to Damian’s sisters, one to the Empress Agnes, and even a few to such distant personages as the young King Henry IV and the Archbishop Anno of Cologne.

Like its companions, this volume uses Damian’s thought to understand an important and gripping period in the history of church and state. Clearly, the most significant letter in this collection is Letter 119, written in 1063 to Abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino and his monks, on the omnipotence of God. Translated here for the first time into English, Damian’s treatise on divine omnipotence demonstrates his control of both theological and philosophical methodology. His opponents are contemporary rhetoricians whose denial of God’s total potency in dealing with his creatures’ contingencies in time past, present, and future opens them to the charge of heresy.

Though Damian’s vocabulary frequently challenges the combined dictionary resources of classical, patristic, and mediaeval Latin, Owen J. Blum’s careful translation will guarantee the transmission of Damian's thought to all levels of readers throughout the world.

Father Blum’s translations are scholarly and accurate. They read well, and his lifetime of familiarity with Peter Damian’s writings ensures that he catches the spirit and feeling of the author’s skillful and sophisticated Latin. Teachers and students alike will be grateful for the availability in English translation of this corpus of letters which is a major source both for the history of the reform papacy and for that of the Italian peninsula in the mid-eleventh century.

The Catholic Historical Review

Peter Damian (1007–1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over 180 letters have been preserved, principally from Damian’s own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or “Peter the Sinner” as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform.

The Letters of Peter Damian: 121–150

  • Author: Peter Damian
  • Translators: Owen J. Blum and Irven M. Resnick
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 195

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This volume, the fifth in the series of volumes containing the 180 letters written by the eleventh-century monk Peter Damian, contains careful and annotated translations of Damian’s Letters 121–150. Written during the years 1062–66, the letters deal with a wide variety of subjects and provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the gripping period in the history of church and state.

While previous volumes have included Damian’s correspondence to a range of people from simple hermits in his community to abbots, bishops, cardinals, Pope Alexander II, and young King Henry IV, this collection of letters includes several addressed to kinsmen. Letter 123 is Damian’s rather lengthy exhortation to his nephew Damianus encouraging him to seek a pure and virtuous monastic life. Letter 132, written to his nephew Marinus, contains a comprehensive discussion of the virtues proper to the monastic life. And Letter 126 to Alberic of Monte Cassino, presents a good example of Damian’s principles of biblical exegesis.

This well-written and well-presented collection . . . highlights the gravity and the importance of [Peter Damian’s] counsel to addresses far and wide, and it brings to the fore contemporaneous issues for both Church and State.

—Dianne M. Cole, Laval Theologique et Philosophique

Peter Damian (1007–1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over 180 letters have been preserved, principally from Damian’s own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or “Peter the Sinner” as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform.

The Letters of Peter Damian: 151–180

  • Author: Peter Damian
  • Translator: Owen J. Blum and Irven M. Resnick
  • Series: Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 310

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This volume concludes the series of Peter Damian’s letters in English translation. Among Letters 151–180 readers will find some of Damian’s most passionate exhortations on behalf of eremitic ideals. These include Letter 152, in which Damian defends as consistent with the spirit and the letter of Benedict’s Rule his practice of receiving into the eremitic life monks who had abandoned their cenobitic communities. In Letter 153 Damian encourages monks at Pomposa to pass beyond the minimum standards established in the Rule of St. Benedict for the higher and more demanding eremitic vocation. In Letter 165, addressed to a hermit, Albizo, and a monk, Peter, Damian reveals as well the importance of monastic life to the world: because the integrity of the monastic profession has weakened, the world has fallen even deeper into an abyss of sin and corruption and is rushing headlong to destruction. Let monks and hermits take refuge within the walls of the monastery, he urges, while outside the advent of Antichrist seems imminent. Only from within their walls can they project proper examples of piety and sanctity that may transform the world as a whole.

Damian was equally concerned to address the moral condition of the larger Church. Letter 162 represents the last of Damian’s four tracts condemning clerical marriage (Nicolaitism). Damian’s condemnation of Nicolaitism also informed his rejection of Cadalus, the antipope Honorius II (Letters 154 and 156), who was said to support clerical marriage, and therefore cast him into the center of a storm of ecclesiastical (and imperial) politics from which Damian never completely extricated himself.

Teachers and students alike will be grateful for the availability in English translation of this corpus of letters which is a major source both for the history of the reform papacy and for that of the Italian peninsula in the mid-eleventh century.

Catholic History Review

Peter Damian (1007–1072), an eleventh-century monk and man of letters, left a large and significant body of correspondence. Over 180 letters have been preserved, principally from Damian’s own monastery of Fonte Avellana. Ranging in length from short memoranda to longer monographs, the letters provide a contemporary account of many of the controversies of the eleventh century: purgatory, the Eucharist, clerical marriage and celibacy, immorality, and others. Peter Damian, or “Peter the Sinner” as he often referred to himself, was one of the most learned men of his day, and his letters are filled with both erudition and zeal for reform.

The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, vol. 1

  • Author: Cyril of Jerusalem
  • Translator: Leo P. McCauley
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1969
  • Pages: 240

Cyril’s life of some seventy years, placed in the very center of the fourth century, epitomizes much that was characteristic of the period and the locale. Bishop of Jerusalem for nearly forty years, he experienced three expulsions from his see, these due as much to politico-ecclesiastical rivalry as to his participation in the contemporary theological controversies, in which Cyril played an important and still disputed role. The present volume carries about half of the bishop's most valuable production, a series of catechetical lectures for Lent and Easter week.

The introductory lecture (the Procatechesis) admitted the catechumens to the instructions to follow. Of these, the Catecheses proper, the first twelve appear in this first volume, the remaining six, with the five Mystogogical Lectures (for Easter Week), are in volume 2. The conferences are based firmly in the sacraments and in the successive articles of the Creed. It is upon the Creed and the various forms of it with which Cyril was involved that much of the extended Introduction centers. Cyril’s body of catechetical lectures, which has been called “one of the most precious treasures of Christian antiquity,” can make a telling contribution to the catechetical renewal within the Church of today and to the study and devotion of clergy and layfolk alike.

The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, vol. 2

  • Author: Cyril of Jerusalem
  • Translator: Leo P. McCauley
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1969
  • Pages: 276

Cyril’s life of some seventy years, placed in the very center of the fourth century, epitomizes much that was characteristic of the period and the locale. Bishop of Jerusalem for nearly forty years, he experienced three expulsions from his see, these due as much to politico-ecclesiastical rivalry as to his participation in the contemporary theological controversies, in which Cyril played an important and still disputed role. The present volume carries about half of the bishop's most valuable production, a series of catechetical lectures for Lent and Easter week.

This volume includes the remaining six lectures for catechists and the five Mystogogical Lectures.

The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury (4 vols.)

  • Translator: Sidney Norton Deane
  • Publisher: Open Court
  • Publication Date: 1939
  • Pages: 287

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For nearly one thousand years, theologians, philosophers, and Christian apologists have felt the effects of Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm’s theological method was rigorous, and represented a seismic shift in medieval thought. He is widely considered the founder scholastic theology, and he has been called the church’s “second Augustine.” His treatise on the atonement, Cur Deus Homo was the first to systematically articulate the penal substitution theory of the atonement, which was later developed by John Calvin and widely embraced by Reformed and evangelical churches. He was also the first to construct and systematize the ontological argument for the existence of God. The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury contains Anselm’s important theological and philosophical writings: the Proslogium, the Monologium, and Cur Deus Homo, plus his exchange with Guanilon.

Saint Anselm’s Book of Meditations and Prayers

  • Translator: M. R.
  • Publisher: Burns and Oates
  • Publication Date: 1872
  • Pages: 320

The thought and writing of Anselm of Canterbury has echoed through the fields of philosophy and theology for nearly 1,000 years. Widely considered the founder of scholasticism, Anselm’s method of study was rigorous and represented a seismic shift in medieval thought. In Saint Anselm’s Book of Meditations and Prayers the reader is brought into the very heart of this great saint’s spiritual experience, offering one of the first ontological arguments for the existence of God. The meditations discuss such topics as “the dignity and the woe of man’s estate,” “the penitent’s address to God his Father,” and “hope for the future.”

Isidore of Seville: De Ecclesiasticis Officiis

  • Author: Isidore of Seville
  • Translator: Thomas L. Knoebel
  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 133

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This is the first complete English translation of De Ecclesiasticis Officiis of St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), considered the last Latin Father of the Church. The work is an invaluable source of information about liturgical practice and church offices.

Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue

  • Author: Catherine of Siena
  • Translator: Suzanne Noffke
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 416

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Catherine of Siena (1347–1380), mystic and doctor of the Roman Church, wrote The Dialogue, her crowning spiritual work, for “the instruction and encouragement of all those whose spiritual welfare was her concern.” Her words still have a deep effect on all who read them. Learn from her example and instruction with this heartfelt and intellectually challenging volume.

The Feminine Genius of Catholic Theology

  • Author: Matthew Levering
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 168

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The Feminine Genius of Catholic Theology introduces Catholic doctrine through the crucible of the women mystics’ reception of the gospel. The work of the great women theologians of the Church’s second millennium has too often been neglected—or relegated to the category of “mysticism”—in textbooks on Catholic doctrine. This is a shame, because their work shows the interior conjunction of liturgical experience, scriptural exegesis, philosophical reflection, and doctrinal and creedal formulation.

Women theologians in this book include Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Simone Weil and others. Drawing on their work, Matthew Levering presents the tenets of Catholic faith in a clear and accessible manner, useful for introductory courses as well as for students and scholars interested in the contributions of women to Catholic theology.

The ‘feminine genius’ is a popular phrase in theological parlance but it is rarely given much content. Matthew Levering has managed not only to give it content, but to explain the basic themes in Catholic theology with reference to the contributions of great female saints and theologians. The Feminine Genius of Catholic Theology should be on the reading lists of all Catholic schools and Liberal Arts Colleges.

—Tracey Rowland, dean, John Paul II Institute, Melbourne, Australia

[Levering] knows his sources really well, and shows real skill in laying out their ideas . . . he has produced a book on the ‘feminine genius’ of Catholic women, and it is nice to have their contribution to theology acknowledged so generously.

Church Times

Matthew Levering earned a PhD from Boston College and is currently professor of religious studies at the University of Dayton. He is the author of Ezra & Nehemiah in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series, and coauthor of Holy People, Holy Land and Knowing the Love of Christ.

Treatise on Consummate Perfection

  • Author: St. Catherine of Siena
  • Translator: Augusta Theodosia Drane
  • Publisher: Longmans, Green & Co.
  • Publication Date: 1899
  • Pages: 10

Together with St. Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena is one of the two patron saints of Italy. Of her extant writings, her Dialogue, an abundant number of letters, and a series of prayers, are well known. This smaller work, Treatise on Consummate Perfection, is also attributed to Catherine, and is also written in the form of a brief Dialogue.

Augusta Theodosia Drane (1823–1894) wrote numerous books of prose and poetry, including The History of Saint Dominic, The Life of St Catherine of Siena, The Knights of St John and Songs in the Night and Other Poems.

Athanasius: The Life of Antony and the Letter to Marcellinus

  • Author: Athanasius
  • Translator: Robert C. Gregg
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 1979
  • Pages: 192

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Athanasius (c. 295–373), bishop of Alexandria, spiritual master, and theologian, was a major figure of fourth-century Christendom. The Life of Antony is one of the foremost classics of asceticism. The Letter to Marcellinus is an introduction to the spiritual sense of the Psalms.

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

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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.

On the Incarnation (Greek and English)

  • Author: St. Athanasius
  • Translator: John Behr
  • Publisher: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 173

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By any standard, this is a classic of Christian theology. Composed by St. Athanasius in the fourth century, it expounds with simplicity the theological vision defended at the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople: that the Son of God himself became "fully human, so that we might become god." Its influence on all Christian theology thereafter, East and West, ensures its place as one of the few "must read" books for all who want to know more about the Christian faith. This diglot edition of the Greek text and translation makes this essential and classic work in Christian theology accessible to a wide audience.

John Behr is the Dean of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Professor of Patristics, and Editor of the Popular Patristics Series. Other SVS Press books by Fr John are The Way to Nicaea, The Nicene Faith (2 vols.), and The Mystery of Christ.

The Venerable Bede: On the Song of Songs and Selected Writings

  • Author: The Venerable Bede
  • Editor: Arthur G. Holder
  • Translator: Arthur G. Holder
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 384

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This volume contains the first English translation of Bede’s allegorical commentary On the Song of Songs, along with selections from his homilies, his Ecclesiastical History, and an introduction to his spirituality.

Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (4 vols.)

  • Author: The Venerable Bede
  • Translator: J. E. King
  • Publisher: William Heinemann
  • Series: Loeb Classical Library
  • Pages: 1,112

Bede’s writings are known for their theological and historical significance. In Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, you’ll experience Bede’s historical and chronological writings tracking the Christian church through England. Bede pays special attention to the sources of political upheaval in the 600s and outlines the major disagreements between Roman and Celtic Christians. This book is useful for people looking for a brief survey of religious and political figures and events in Anglo-Saxon history.

Bede (673–735) was an English monk at the Northumbrian monastery of St. Peter in Wearmouth. Regarded as one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon scholars, he wrote around 40 books dealing with different areas of theology and history.

John of Avila: Audi, Filia–Listen, O Daughter

  • Author: John of Avila
  • Translator: Joan Frances Gormley
  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Publisher: Paulist Press
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 352

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This volume contains a general introduction to the life and work of St. John of Avila (1499–1569), a major figure in the reform of the church in sixteenth century Spain, along with a translation of his major work, the Audi, Filia, a guide to the spiritual life beginning from the ascetical practices of resisting the allurements of the world and terminating in union with the crucified Lord by which the soul shares Christ’s radiant beauty.

Letters of Blessed John of Avila

  • Author: John of Ávila
  • Translator: The Benedictines of Stanbrook
  • Publisher: Burns and Oats
  • Publication Date: 1904
  • Pages: 188

This work represents the first time St. John of Ávila’s letters were translated and printed in English, its publication riding on the heels of the saint’s beatification by Pope Leo XIII in 1893. The preface, written by Right Rev. Aidan Gasquet of Stanbrook Abbey, contains a brief biography.

John of Ávila (1499–1569) was a Spanish priest, scholastic author, and religious mystic. He was originally on track to study law, but after a while at the University of Salamanca, he withdrew and spent the next three years living in austere piety. He moved on to the University of Alcalá de Henares to study philosophy and theology, and was ordained into the priesthood in 1526. Most of his work was done in Andalauía, a place of considerable spiritual apathy, where he preached and thousands would flock to hear his sermons. St. John of Ávila also served as the first rector for the University of Baeza, which became a model of educational institutions for Jesuits. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI in October of 2012, and is affectionately remembered as the Apostle of Andalusia.

Commentary on the Twelve Prophets, vol. 1

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: Robert C. Hill
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 327

Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria (412–444), is best known as a protagonist in the christological controversy of the second quarter of the fifth century. Readers may be surprised therefore to find such polemic absent from this early work on the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. Another possibly unexpected feature of this Alexandrian commentary is its focus on historical exegesis, which reveals Cyril’s serious interest in the fortunes of the people of Israel and Judah in the centuries preceding and following the exile. Unlike his predecessor Didymus the Blind, Cyril abjures an approach that dismisses the historicity of the text (as in his opening defense of Hosea’s marriage), and he proceeds to other levels of interpretation, moral and spiritual, only after a preliminary examination of the historical.

Indebted to the diverse approaches of Didymus, Jerome, and Theodore, Cyril appears in this work as a balanced commentator, eclectic in his attitude and tolerant of alternative views. Although he displays an occasional uncertainty in his grasp of historical and geographical details, as well as an inclination to verbosity, Cyril has conspicuously influenced the exegesis of his younger contemporary Theodoret of Cyrus, and has made a vital contribution to the development of biblical interpretation in the church.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

Commentary on the Twelve Prophets, vol. 2

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: Robert C. Hill
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 442

Cyril of Alexandria’s contributions to theology are not confined to his prominent role in the fifth-century christological conflict, but are also vital to the development of biblical exegesis. Drawing insights from older contemporaries, Cyril examines in depth the historical contexts of prophetic texts, utilizing his knowledge of events and geographical locations in deriving his interpretations. Imperfect though his knowledge is, his approach is worthy of admiration because it combines historical analysis with moral and spiritual perspectives in achieving a balance that cannot be labeled as either “Alexandrian” or “Antiochene.” This balance is assured by the broad diversity among Cyril’s sources, namely, Didymus the Blind, Jerome, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Cyril in turn has exerted a direct influence on Theodoret of Cyrus, thus forging a link in the succession of patristic exegetical developments.

For Cyril, as for the Fathers in general, the internal unity of the Bible guarantees that its texts can be applied to the interpretation of other texts within the scriptural canon. A focal point of Cyril’s interpretation is the relationship between God and his people as it unfolds in the course of history, revealing a sovereign God who, while tolerating no infidelity, perseveres patiently in correcting the errant. This relationship is the basis of a motif that unifies the Old and New Testaments, with the prophets serving as precursors of the Savior; thus their proclamations, though often aimed at the events of their own times, speak to believers of all eras.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

Commentary on the Twelve Prophets, vol. 3

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: Robert C. Hill
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 368

This final volume in a series of three contains Cyril’s commentary on Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Applying his knowledge of ancient Israelite history in his analysis of the immediate context for each of these prophetic books, Cyril believes that Zephaniah was addressed to the residents of Jerusalem in the years preceding the Babylonian Exile, and the other three were addressed to a newly repatriated, post-exilic nation.

An emphasis on theodicy is a primary theme of this book. God’s love for humankind, says Cyril, is expressed in the many warnings sent through the prophets and in the ample amount of time that God allows for people to repent. When no repentance ensues, God sends harsh but just punishments, employing the brutality of enemy nations as his instruments, yet always doing so with the loving purpose of returning his people to himself.

Cyril’s focus on the historical details of the Old Testament is matched by his concern for the Church of his own day. Where the prophetic oracles mention the Jewish priesthood, altar, or sacrifices, Cyril takes the opportunity to exhort Christian priests to preserve their moral purity and to fulfill their liturgical duties with devotion. This extrapolation from the ancient to the contemporary, from Israel to the Church, is compatible with the typological interpretation that Cyril utilizes in conjunction with his literal, historical approach. The Temple is a type, or foreshadowing, of the Church, and the sacrificial lamb of the Passover prefigures Christ. Thus Cyril maintains his connection with the Alexandrian tradition of allegorical exegesis while presenting a balanced, multi-faceted interpretation that applies passages from many other parts of the Bible to extract a wealth of meaning from the prophetic books.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

Letters, 1–50

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: John I. McEnerney
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 254

Cyril of Alexandria famously took up the debate against Nestorius on the theological interpretation of the deity of Christ, a number of which are addressed in these volumes. This fifth-century Christological controversey comprises most of the teaching of these letters, notably even letters not addressed to Nestorius. The conflict with Nestorius eventually brought Nestorius to condemnation after the Council of Ephesus in 431, in which Cyril presides at the request of Pope Celestine. Almost the entire collection here has to do with the controversey surrounding the Council of Ephesus and the schism of bishops on either side of the theological controversey.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

Letters, 51–110

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: John I. McEnerney
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 215

Cyril of Alexandria famously took up the debate against Nestorius on the theological interpretation of the deity of Christ, a number of which are addressed in these volumes. This fifth-century Christological controversey comprises most of the teaching of these letters, notably even letters not addressed to Nestorius. The conflict with Nestorius eventually brought Nestorius to condemnation after the Council of Ephesus in 431, in which Cyril presides at the request of Pope Celestine. Almost the entire collection here has to do with the controversey surrounding the Council of Ephesus and the schism of bishops on either side of the theological controversey.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

Festal Letters, 1–12

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Translator: Philip R. Amidon
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 260

St. Cyril of Alexandria is best known for his role in the Christological disputes of the fifth century. In recent years, however, scholars have turned their attention to Cyril the exegete. Cyril wrote extensive commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible; in fact, two-thirds of his extant corpus is devoted to biblical interpretation. Yet, despite this strong interest in Cyril as theologian and biblical interpreter, his activity as the Patriarch of Alexandria remains obscure. Doctrinal treatises and biblical commentary reveal little of the daily pastoral duties that occupied Cyril during his years as leader of one of ancient Christianity’s most important sees. This new translation of Cyril’s festal letters will help fill these gaps.

Twenty-nine in all, these letters cover all but three of Cyril’s years as bishop. In Alexandria, festal letters functioned primarily as a vehicle for announcing the beginning of Lent and the proper date for the celebration of Easter. They also served an important catechetical purpose by providing the patriarch with an annual opportunity to present his flock with a pastoral version of the theological issues that found more formal and complex expression elsewhere. Thus, Cyril’s Festal Letters offer the modern reader a glimpse into the issues that Cyril himself considered important enough to proclaim to the entire diocese and a sample of how he prepared these ideas for reception by a less sophisticated audience.

These letters illuminate other aspects of the ancient church in Alexandria, including that church’s complex relationship with the Jews and other religious groups, as well as the ways in which the ascetical movement wound its way into the patriarch’s pastoral program. In short, Cyril of Alexandria’s Festal Letters provides modern readers with a rare opportunity to enter the daily reality of the church in ancient Alexandria.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

Festal Letters, 13–30

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 240

St. Cyril of Alexandria is best known for his role in the Christological controversies of the fifth century. In recent decades, scholars have been attending more carefully to his exegetical legacy. Most of Cyril’s work takes the form of biblical commentary rather than doctrinal treatise. Indeed, during his long career he wrote commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible. Less attention, however, has been given to Cyril’s pastoral work as the Patriarch of Alexandria, perhaps because his commentaries and doctrinal treatises do not reveal much about his daily pastoral duties. Here the Festal Letters are especially helpful.

Twenty-nine in all, these letters cover all but three of Cyril’s years as a bishop. The present volume completes the set. Festal letters were used in Alexandria primarily to announce the beginning of Lent and the date of Easter. They also served a catechetical purpose, however, allowing the Patriarch an annual opportunity to write pastorally not just about issues facing the entire see, but also about the theological issues of the day. Thus, in these letters we catch a glimpse of Cyril the pastor writing about complex theology in an uncomplicated way. These letters also illuminate other realities of the ancient church in Alexandria, especially the relationship with the Jewish community and the rising influence of asceticism.

Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. His uncle, Pope Theophilus of Alexandria, was Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412. Cyril was well educated, wrote extensively, and was a leading figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, the third ecumenical council of the early Christian Church. The council convened amid disputes over the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyril led the charges of heresy against Nestorius. Nestorius’ teachings were condemned by the council, leading to the formation of separate denominations that broke from the Orthodox church.

Cyril of Alexandria is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and Lutheran Church.

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

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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.

Selected Prose Works

  • Author: Ephrem the Syrian
  • Translator: Edward G. Mathews, Jr.
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 423

This volume presents for the first time in the Fathers of the Church series the work of an early Christian writer who did not write in either Greek or Latin. It offers new English translations of selected prose works by St. Ephrem the Syrian (c. AD 309–373). The volume contains St. Ephrem’s Commentary on Genesis, Commentary on Exodus, Homily on Our Lord, and Letter to Publius. The translators have enhanced the volume with a general introduction, extensive bibliography, and specific introductions to each of the works. Together these features provide an overview of the major scholarship on St. Ephrem and Syriac Christianity.

St. Ephrem, the “Harp of the Spirit,” composed prose commentaries and sermons of skillfull charmand grace, in addition to beautiful hymns, during the time he spent teaching at his native Nisibis and at Edessa in Syria. In the two commentaries presented here, Ephrem focuses only on portions of the sacred text that had a particular theological significance for him, or whose orthodox interpretation needed to be reasserted in the face of contemporary heterodox ideas. He does not provide a continuous, verse by verse exposition. The elaborate rhetorical figures and stylistic devices of the Homily on Our Lord and Letter to Publius succeed in creating language and imagery nearly as striking as Ephrem’s poetry.

St. Ephrem marshaled his considerable theological and rhetorical talent to challenge the appeal that the doctrines of the Arians, Manicheans, Marcionites, and the followers of Bardaisan might have had to the minds and hearts of Syrian Christians. In the face of their rational systems, his was the voice that insisted on the incomprehensibility of the divine nature.

The Hymns on Faith

  • Author: Ephrem the Syrian
  • Translator: Jeffrey T. Wickes
  • Series: Fathers of the Church
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 440

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Ephrem the Syrian was born in Nisibis (Nusaybin, Turkey) around 306 CE, and died in Edessa (Sanliurfa, Turkey) in 373. He was a prolific author, composing over four hundred hymns, several metrical homilies, and at least two scriptural commentaries. His extensive literary output warrants mention alongside other well-known fourth-century authors, such as Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil of Caesarea. Yet Ephrem wrote in neither Greek nor Latin, but in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic. His voice opens to the reader a fourth-century Christian world perched on the margins between the Roman and Persian Empires. Ephrem is known for a theology that relies heavily on symbol and for a keen awareness of Jewish exegetical traditions. Yet he is also our earliest source for the reception of Nicaea among Syriac-speaking Christians. It is in his 87 Hymns on Faith–the longest extant piece of early Syriac literature–that he develops his arguments against subordinationist christologies most fully. These hymns, most likely delivered orally and compiled after the author’s death, were composed in Nisibis and Edessa between the 350s and 373. They reveal an author conversant with Christological debates further to the west, but responding in a uniquely Syriac idiom. As such, they form an essential source for reconstructing the development of pro-Nicene thought in the eastern Mediterranean. Yet, the Hymns on Faith offer far more than a simple Syriacpro-Nicene catechetical literature. In these hymns Ephrem reflects upon the mystery of God and the limits of human knowledge. He demonstrates a sophisticated grasp of symbol and metaphor and their role in human understanding. The Hymns on Faith are translated here for the first time in English on the basis of Edmund Beck’s critical edition.

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.

The Moral Concordances of Saint Anthony of Padua

  • Author: St. Anthony of Padua and Lisbon
  • Translator: J. M. Neale
  • Publisher: J. T. Hayes
  • Publication Date: 1867
  • Pages: 146

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St. Anthony of Padua was not only one of the greatest, but one of the most popular preachers of the Middle Ages. His extant sermons and sermon notes evince a grasp of the Scriptures which well entitled him to the name bestowed on him by Gregory IX, "The Ark of the Testament." St. Anthony died in 1231, and it wasn't until 1638 that the Moral Concordances were discovered in a library attached to the Church called Aracoeli, in Rome. J. M. Neale provides the English translation along with an in-depth introduction.

The book needs no commendation at our hands, it having already attained to the position of a standard work, yet we cannot do less than record our deliberate conviction that no clergyman's library is complete without it.

Union Review

John Mason Neale was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge where he founded the Cambridge Camden Society (later known as the Ecclesiological Society). He was also the principal founder of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, a religious organization founded as the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union in 1864. A well known hymnist and translator, his works include An Introduction to the History of the Holy Eastern Church, Essays on Liturgiology and Church History, and O come, O come, Emmanuel.

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