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This in-depth study on the realm of death presents a message of hope held by the first generation of Christians and the early church. Using Scripture, patristic tradition, early Christian poetry, and liturgical texts, Archbishop Hilarion explores the mysterious and enigmatic event of Christ’s descent into Hades and its consequences for the human race.
At the head of this collection stands a new translation of On Pascha by Melito of Sardis, a liturgical work deriving from Quartodeciman circles in Asia. Alongside this is an extensive introduction and annotation pointing out not only that parallels to Jewish practice, but also offering an analysis of the work in terms of classical rhetoric.
St. Athanasius stood contra mundum for the Trinitarian doctrine 'whole and undefiled,' when it looked as if all the civilized world was slipping back from Christianity into the religion of Arius, into one of those 'sensible' synthetic religions which are so strongly recommended today and which then, as now, included among their devotees many highly cultivated clergymen.
Compilers include Saint Symeon the Metaphrastes, Agapios the Cretan, Nikodemos the Hagiorite, Efthymios Zigabenos, Dositheos of Jerusalem, Church Fathers, and Athonite writers; also cited are Ecclesiastical Histories, together with Neon Paradeison, Neon Thesavron, Neon Eklogion, Neon Martyrologion, and Ephraim.
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