Life and Works (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 98)

Life and Works (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 98)

Translated by MICHAEL SLUSSER
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 219
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt3fgp14
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  • Book Info
    Life and Works (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 98)
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1198-5
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. xiii-xix)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-38)

    (1) The man whose life and works are the subject of this volume was a bishop in the third century. Until the early fourth century, he was known as “Gregory the Great” or (in Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of him) “the Teacher.”¹ His see was the city of Neocaesarea (modern Niksar) in the interior of Pontus, the area south of the Black Sea. Of his life not much is known, and the data which are available are the subject of some controversy, but the following brief outline is probably reasonably accurate. More details will be found in the discussion of...

  7. ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA
    • ON THE LIFE AND WONDERS OF OUR FATHER AMONG THE SAINTS, GREGORY THE WONDERWORKER
      (pp. 41-88)
      Gregory

      The object of my address [893A, H3]¹ and of the present assembly are one and the same. For Gregory the Great furnishes you with the occasion for gathering together, and me with that of speaking. As I see it, one and the same power is required both for achieving virtue in deed and for describing what is good worthily in a speech. Consequently the same ally must be called upon for help as the one through whose aid he achieved virtue in his lifetime. This, I am convinced, is the grace of the Holy Spirit, which empowers both for life...

  8. ST. GREGORY THAUMATURGUS
    • ADDRESS OF THANKSGIVING TO ORIGEN
      (pp. 91-126)

      It is good to keep silent; most people usually wish others would, and I would be happiest now if I were gagged and forced to be silent willy-nilly. (2) For I am out of practice, and I lack experience of these beautiful and gracious speeches, spoken, or rather composed, from carefully chosen, elegant nouns and verbs one after another in an unbroken stream. I may even lack the natural ability to elaborate this elegant and truly Hellenic work. (3) Be that as it may, it must be eight years now since I myself spoke or wrote an oration, large or...

    • METAPHRASE ON THE ECCLESIASTES OF SOLOMON
      (pp. 127-146)

      These are the words of Solomon, [988B Eccles 1] the son of David the king and prophet, a king honored beyond all others and a most wise prophet, to the entire Church of God. [989A]

      (2) How empty and foolish are the affairs and projects of human beings, as far as they are merely human. For one cannot say that any advantage attaches to these things which human beings strive with body and soul to accomplish as they move about the earth, enslaved to transitory things, never wanting to look beyond the stars with the noble gaze of the soul....

    • CANONICAL EPISTLE
      (pp. 147-151)

      Most holy father, [1020A] the food will not weigh us down, if the captives ate what their captors set before them, for this one reason above all the others, that the barbarians who have overrun our territories did not sacrifice to idols. The Apostle says, “Food is for the belly, and the belly for food. God will abolish the one and the other.”¹ But our Savior, too, when he made all things clean, said, “It is not what enters that defiles someone, but what comes out.”² And likewise the captive women who were befouled when the barbarians violated their bodies...

    • TO THEOPOMPUS, ON THE IMPASSIBILITY AND PASSIBILITY OF GOD
      (pp. 152-173)

      One day, as I was about to come to the place where I usually stayed, a certain man whose name was Theopompus asked me whether God was impassible. After a brief delay I answered him with some distaste, “How can we not say that God does not fall under passion, O Theopompus?” And when he took pains to follow my response with another question, I increased my pace to get away and arrive at the place where friends used to gather. And when I had sat down with those who happened to be there, extending my hand to them, I...

    • TO PHILAGRIUS [EVAGRIUS], ON CONSUBSTANTIALITY
      (pp. 174-178)

      I am full of wonder [1101A²] and exceedingly amazed at the forthright way in which you raise such problems and such great inquiries by your precise questions, making it so that we are forced to speak and to undertake the hard work of demonstration, because you bring us questions which are both unavoidable and useful. Clearly there is every need, after your inquiries, for us to make clear responses. And right at this moment, the question you have proposed went like this and concerned this matter: in what way might the Father and Son and Holy Spirit have a nature...

  9. ASSOCIATED WORKS
    • TO TATIAN, ON THE SOUL
      (pp. 181-186)

      You have directed me, [1137A] O worthy Tatian, to send you the discourse on the soul, set forth with effective proofs, and you have asked me to do this without using the testimonies of Scripture, although that is, for those who wish to think piously, true teaching which is more convincing than any human reasoning. For you say that you do not seek this for your own benefit, already having been taught to depend upon the holy Scriptures and traditions and not to confuse your mind with the twists and turns of human arguments. [You seek it] to refute the...

    • GLOSSARY ON EZEKIEL
      (pp. 187-189)

      We understand that “the human being” [1.10¹] is the rational; “the lion,” the irascible; “the young cow,” the passionately desiring; “the eagle,” the conscience over the others,² which Paul calls “spirit of the human being.”³ The one seated is the Father; the wind [1.4], the Holy Spirit; the cloud, the Son.⁴ “Out of the north” means from the introductory, leading to the greater things; “brightness,” on account of being illuminated;⁵ “fire,” because of the instruction; the “flashing with fire,” since from the gaps come the chastisements. The purified part of the soul is called “electrum,” which must mean that “the...

    • LETTER OF ORIGEN TO GREGORY
      (pp. 190-192)

      Greetings in god, my most devoted and venerable son Gregory, from Origen.

      (2) As you know, the pursuit of understanding, since it calls for asceticism, can involve exertion, which leads as much as possible (if I may put it that way) toward the goal of that for which a person wishes to train. Thus your pursuit can have made you an expert Roman lawyer and a Greek philosopher of those schools which are deemed significant. But I would wish you to employ the full power of your pursuit ultimately for Christianity; therefore as a means I would beseech you to...

  10. INDICES
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 200-200)