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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.
St Isaac's monastic anthropology has a major influence on all of Byzantine spiritual literature. The way toward God, in his writing, was threefold: the way of the body, the way of the soul, and the way of the spirit.
This is the first book to provide an affordable translation of the major doctrinal poems of St. Gregory of Nazianzus. Included are poems on the Trinity, Creation and Providence, Angels and the Soul, the Person of Christ, Human Nature and poems debating the Christian understanding of marriage and virginity.
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.
Without St. John's brilliant defense, both profound and at times earthly, we might well have had no icons, murals, and mosaics in churches to elevate and enrich our spirits.
This collection of the spiritual writings of St. Gregory of Nyssa, selected and introduced by Jean Danielou, has long been recognized as an authoritative introduction to the 'father of mysticism,' who exploded classical antiquity's static understanding of perfection by showing the Christian life as one of never-ending growth, a true dynamic movement 'from glory to glory.'
The eighth-century document Historia Ecclesiastica of Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople (715-730), was for centuries the quasi-official explanation of the Divine Liturgy for the Byzantine Christian world. Although "allegorical" in content, its interest lies in its historical value, for it appeared at a time of great flux in the life of the Byzantine Church, at the outbreak of the iconoclastic controversies, a period which marked a strong shift in theology and piety.
The theological significance of this document and its usefulness in understanding the form of the liturgy celebrated in the eighth century is discussed in an extensive introduction by the translator, Paul Meyendorff. The introduction includes an exposition on mystagogical catecheses and the development of an historicizing system of liturgical symbolism.
Letters from the Desert is part of the POPULAR PATRISTIC SERIES.
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