The Doctors of the Church: Ecumenical (63 vols.)

By 26 authors
4 publishers
, 1947–2015
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 63 volumes represent significant selections from the eight Ecumenical Doctors of the Church. The Western Ecumenical Doctors consist of St. Ambrose (340-397), St. Jerome (345-420), St. Augustine (354-430), Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). The Eastern Ecumenical Doctors are St. Athanasius (295-373), St. Basil the Great (330-379), St. Gregory of Nazianzus (330-390), and St. John Chrysostom (345-407). The collection represents 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. No library should be without this essential set of resources!

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: Ecumenical
  • Volumes: 63
  • Pages: 20,883
  • Christian Group: Catholic

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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.

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