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Saint Gregory Nazianzen: Selected Poems
Author: St Gregory Nazianzen
Translator: John McGuckin
Saint Gregory Nazianzen (c. 330 - 389), Bishop and Doctor of the Church, and known as the ‘Trinitarian Theologian’, was born and died in Arianzum, a few miles south of Nazianzus in south-west Cappadocia (modern Turkey). His parents, wealthy landowners, were Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzus, and Nonna. He and the brothers, Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa, are collectively known as the ‘Cappadocian Fathers’. He left behind many writings: poems, epistles and orations. He studied in many renowned university centres, returned briefly to his father’s estate, and later joined Basil in a monastic foundation. There they worked together on the ‘Philokalia’, an anthology of spiritual texts taken from the writings of Origen, and on the Rules of Saint Basil. Gregory returned to Nazianzus, where he was persuaded to become a priest and, in 372, to be consecrated Bishop of Sasima. From the end of 375, he spent three years in solitude in a monastery at Seleuci. He also functioned as a bishop in Nazianzus and Constantinople, retiring from episcopal duties in 383 to live at Arianzum.
Professor John McGuckin, born in 1952, is an Orthodox priest serving at the St Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Chaplaincy in Manhattan. He is Ane Marie and Bent Emil Nielsen Professor in Late Antique and Byzantine Christian History at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Professor of Byzantine Chrisian Studies at Columbia. After studies in London and gaining his doctorate from the University of Durham, he served in various academic posts in England, Ireland, Greece, Romania, Ukraine, Italy and the United States. He has written and published extensively on Patristics, New Testament interpretation, Byzantine history and Orthodox theology, including the book ‘St Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography’ (2000).
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This selection of twenty poems by the fourth-century Greek theologian, St Gregory Nazianzen, represents his Christological writing. It includes the poems ‘On the Son’ and ‘On the Incarnation’, written to defend the orthodoxy of the Council of Nicea. In these poems, Gregory meets Arian and Apollinarist heretics on their own ground, demonstrating that Christians are as cultured as the pagans. There are also several hymns, smaller poems and prayers in which St Gregory reveals something of his own inner life. There is a substantial Introduction.
140 x 210 mm