Resources

(For many of the proceeding works, there is a review on the linked page. Please forgive the shortness of the list, this page is continually being updated)

EXCITING FORTHCOMING WORKS:

  1. The Glaphyra of St. Cyril of Alexandria On the Pentateuch
    • This work is FINALLY being translated for the first-time. This is St. Cyril of Alexandria’s ‘elegant comments’ (Glpahyra) on the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch). This is the first volume in a projected two-volume translation of St. Cyril’s Glaphyra. Long known for his instrumental christological works, St. Cyril’s voluminous biblical commentaries are fortunately starting to be translated.
    • From the publisher: “Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 376–444) is best known for his defense of orthodoxy at the time of the Nestorian controversy over the nature of Christ. However, by far the larger part of Cyril’s literary output consisted of commentaries on books of both Old and New Testaments, written before the Christological debate was sparked off in 428. One of these works, of major proportions, was the so-called Glaphyra (“elegant comments”) on the Pentateuch. This comprises a total of thirteen separate “books,” or volumes: seven on Genesis, three on Exodus, and one each on Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The comments primarily concern the narrative portions of the Pentateuch, hence the greater space given to Genesis, though a number of the legal prescriptions are also treated. This present volume, containing all seven books on Genesis, is the first of a projected two-volume set which will offer a translation of the whole Glaphyra for the first time in English. Cyril’s aims within the commentary are both theological and pastoral. His chosen method begins with a consideration of the historia. Here the Alexandrian patriarch deals with the text at the literal level. At this stage he explains any historical, cultural, and at times even linguistic and textual issues presented within the passage, which is then followed by some theological instruction or lessons of a more practical nature based upon the literal interpretation. The exposition then moves on to the theoria. This is Cyril’s preferred term for the contemplation of the spiritual sense, that is to say, the mystery of Christ which he firmly held lay hidden beneath the surface of the Old Testament text. With great adeptness and consistency Cyril identifies elements within the ancient narratives as figures, or “types and shadows,” of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Church, and the teachings of the gospel.

2. The Orthodox Reality: Culture, Theology, and Ethics in The Modern World by Vigen Guroian

  • This is a book about the struggle of Orthodox Christianity to establish a clear identity and mission within modernity–Western modernity in particular. As such, it offers penetrating insight into the heart and soul of Orthodoxy. Yet it also lends unusual, unexpected insight into the struggle of all the churches to engage modernity with conviction and integrity. Written by one of the leading voices of contemporary Orthodox theology, The Orthodox Reality is a treasury of the Orthodox response to the challenges of Western culture in order to answer secularism, act ecumenically, and articulate an ethics of the family that is both faithful to tradition and relevant to our day. The author honestly addresses Orthodoxy’s strengths and shortcomings as he introduces readers to Orthodoxy as a living presence in the modern world.
  • This book comes at a time when tectonic shifts in Western Culture have diminished both the visible presence and the audible voice of traditional Christian faith and practice in the public square. Even within the household of traditional Christianity, there are fractures due largely to a lack of apostolic teaching and sound apologetics. Often lost in the internal Christian conversation is the voice of Orthodox Christianity. In fact, in the West, Orthodoxy is often simply an afterthought. Guroian has achieved the standing both within his own tradition and ecumenically to be a theological advocate for the Orthodox Church who reflects what is often referenced simply as ‘the mind of the Church.’ This publication is a long-overdue resource for apostolic teaching and practice that will bring a grounded and time-tested treasure of what C. S. Lewis would call ‘mere Christianity’ to those searching for guidance in a time of rapid cultural change.”
    Chad Hatfield, president, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, New York

 

Patristic Studies:

Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement

  • About this work the publisher tells us, “By linking together a series of brilliantly chosen texts from the early centuries of the Church, the author lays bare the roots of the deeply mystical spirituality that has flourished among Christians throughout the ages. This is a book that will appeal to anyone who is interested in the field of spirituality; it is a masterly contribution to Christian scholarship. Clement’s scholarly exposition of the mysticism of the Fathers, already regarded as a modern classic, is now in its third edition.”

Athanasius: The Coherence of His Thought by Fr. Khaled Anatolios

  • This is a more in-depth and penetrating but it will greatly reward close attention. It is beautiful and synthesizes the thought of St. Athanasius across all his works. Fr. Khaled has presented us with a cogent and coherent account of this great father.
  • In this volume, Khaled Anatolios presents a comprehensive study of Saint Athanasius, one of the most influential figures in the development of Christian doctrine. He analyzes the coherence of Athanasius’ theology by relating the various aspects of his doctrine – God, creation, theological anthropology, Christology and redemption, and the life of grace – to a pervasive emphasis on the radical distinction, and simultaneous relation, between God and world. Athanasius: The Coherence of his Thought provides a systematic account of the overall inner logic of the Athanasian vision. It shows how the various aspects of his doctrine are mutually related and in so doing elucidates the complexities both of Athanasian thought and Christian doctrine in general.

The Appropriation of Divine Life in Cyril of Alexandria by Daniel Keating

  • Here is a masterful study of St. Cyril of Alexandria and a beautiful overview of salvation as understood by this saintly father. St. Cyril of Alexandria has been somewhat neglected by modern scholarship but Keating beautifully paints a portrait for us of what St. Cyril saw in the key moments of the economy of our Lord. We hope that they will come out with a paperback soon to make it more affordable. For those with no academic interest in the matter, the last chapter about Cyril in Comparison wont be particularly interesting but the book is still a very enriching read. For those who have ever wondered, “Why do we celebrate the Ascension of Christ anyway?” this is a great book to answers those such questions.
  • From the publisher: “Cyril of Alexandria (d.444) was one of the architects of Christian orthodoxy. Daniel A. Keating presents a comprehensive account of Cyril’s narrative of salvation. He offers a corrective to certain readings of Cyril and argues that Cyril presents a balanced picture of our union with Christ. The final chapter compares Cyril with Theodore of Mopsuestia, Augustine, and Leo the Great, in order to examine in brief the relationship between Eastern and Western accounts of salvation.”

The Luminous Eye: The Spiritual World Vision of Saint Ephrem the Syrian

  • From the publisher, “All but unknown outside the Syrian tradition, Ephrem’s rich theology of symbol, asceticism, and prayer amply deserves to stand beside his more famous Greek contemporaries.”
  • This is a beautiful book which could serve even as a Catechetical resource as Sebastian Brock masterfully paints an overview of St. Ephrem the Syrian’s wholesome worldview of the life in Christ.

Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom

  • A beautiful exploration of the views of St. John Chrysostom of men and women and how the fathers understood gender, sexuality, submission and headship.
  • While not available at the amazon link above, one could try ordering from the publisher

Severus of Antioch in The Early Church Fathers by Pauline Allen

  • This is a great introduction to this most important of fathers. It helpfully includes translations of works otherwise left inaccessible to the English speaker and give some background to our holy father Severus.
  • From the publisher: In the first book to be devoted exclusively to Severus, well-known author in the field, Pauline Allen, focuses on a fascinating figure who is seen simultaneously as both a saint and a heretic.Part of our popular Early Church Fathers series, this volume translates a key selection of Severus’ writings which survived in many other languages. Shedding light on his key opposition to the Council of Chalcedon and rehabilitates his reputation as a key figure of late antiquity, is examines his his life and times, thinking, homiletic abilities and his pastoral concerns. Severus was patriarch of Antioch on the Orontes in Syria from 512-518. Though he is venerated as an important saint in the Old Oriental Christian tradition, he has mostly been regarded as a heretic elsewhere; and as his works were condemned by imperial edict in 536, very little has survived in the original Greek.

The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug by David Michelson

  • Philoxenos of Mabbug (c. 440-523) was a prolific late-antique theologian and polemicist who produced the largest literary corpus to have survived in Syriac. He earned a reputation as the leading Syriac opponent of the Council of Chalcedon (451) and its two-nature Christology. In The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug, David A. Michelson offers a new interpretation of Philoxenos’ one-nature Christology by interpreting the post-Chalcedonian doctrinal disputes through a holistic analysis of Philoxenos’ life and works. Michelson’s exploration of the entire Philoxenian corpus reveals a miaphysite perspective on the Christological controversies in which the intellectual clash was not primarily over defining doctrine. As a metropolitan bishop, sponsor of a revised New Testament, and monastic theologian, Philoxenos was principally concerned with matters of Christian praxis and the ascetic pursuit of divine knowledge. This book shows how he opposed Chalcedonian Christology because he was convinced its ‘intellectual’ theological method was inimical to the mystical pursuit of divine knowledge through liturgical and ascetic practice. Philoxenos’ polemical engagement drew upon a theological epistemology that he had adapted from late-Nicene theologians including Ephrem, the Cappadocians, and Evagrius. Philoxenos argued that divine knowledge was not to be achieved through human understanding or doctrinal inquiry. Instead, true divine knowledge was attained through practice, specifically contemplation, reading of scripture, participation in the liturgical mysteries, and ascetic discipline. Michelson considers each of these practices in turn to show how Philoxenos contextualized opposition to Chalcedon as part of a larger vision of ascetic and spiritual struggle. In short, for Philoxenos the doctrinally recondite conflict over Christology was foremost a practical matter.

Salvation in Christ According to Jacob of Serugh: An Exegetico-Theological Study on the Homilies of Jacob of Serugh on the Feasts of Our Lord

  • St. Jacob of Serugh is usually discussed for his role in Christological controversies. Yet those who read him will see that he is not particularly interested or keen on being a polemicist. His metrical homilies cover the whole range of the Life in Christ and this seems to be the first full length study, in English, of his homilies and how they paint a picture of the economy of our Lord.
  • From the publisher: Jacob of Serugh’s extent homilies, with other writings, place him as the most important Syriac writer after Ephrem the Syrian. The exegetico-theological upraisal of Jacob’s homilies on dominical feasts in this volume presents a more genuine and reliable theologico-mystical vision of Jacob rooted in his basic Syriac vision. The dynamism, freshness and perennial exegetical applicability of many biblical imageries, types and symbols in Christian theology are well attested in this volume as a review of the whole history of salvation based on the mystery of Christ. Based on his true Syriac genius, Jacob of Serugh expounds some unique elements of Syriac Christian tradition through the liturgical commemorations, catechetical teachings, biblical exegesis and theological reflections. The exposition of the homilies on the dominical feasts of Jacob in this volume is a true manifestation of Jacob’s typological and symbolic thought patterns made explicit through his symbolic-mystical-silence approach to the mystery of Christ. Mar Jacob’s mode of handling Adam-Christ Complementarity, the Road of Salvation and the Christocentric Sacramental World-vision are Syriac symbolic ways of handling Theological Anthropology, Soteriology and Christ-Mystery (Christology) respectively. True to his original Syriac vision, the mystery of Christ is explained as the inspiring and governing power of the whole history of salvation in its hidden and revealed, sacramental and mystical, catechetical and pastoral, exegetical and theological aspects of the Christian vision of salvation of all times.

The Sayings of The Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection by Benedicta Ward

The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women by Laura Swan

 

Introduction to Orthodoxy

The Melody of Faith by Vigen Guroian

  • From the publisher; “In the Orthodox Christian faith the elements of liturgy, scripture, hymnody, and iconography are the instruments or “voices” of a melody of faith. Here Vigen Guroian presents the fundamental beliefs of Orthodox Christianity through the metaphor of music. Often drawing on his personal religious experience, Guroian weaves together the themes of creation and new creation, beginning and end, sin and holiness, Incarnation and deification, sacrifice and salvation. Guroian explores the dogmatic foundation of this rich faith in six chapters, or “movements.” Through discussing Syrian, Armenian, Byzantine, and Russian iconography and Gospel illuminations — illustrated by icons and Armenian miniatures — he further reveals how Orthodox Christianity expresses theology as much in art as through language. As a whole, GuroiansMelody of Faithbeautifully captures the spirit of Orthodox Christianity and takes readers to the theological heart of the Orthodox faith.”

On Human Being: A Spiritual Anthropology by Olivier Clement

  • While perhaps this does not look like an “intro to Orthodoxy”, this beautiful little book digs deep into what it means to be human, something we can only understand if we know who God is. Building on that, the human purpose, and how God has intervened in all of this, is brought out beautifully by this little but powerful book.
  • From the publisher, “When the author of the widely-acclaimed Roots of Christian Mysticism thinks about human nature, its challenges, problems, joys and fulfillment, he does so with originality. At the same time, his thought is rooted in the experience of the early Christian centuries. The result is a book that sees humanity in fundamentally spiritual terms.Clement begins by exploring a response to the dysfunctional aspects of nature, and then looks at how we are persons made in the image of the divine and in communion with one another; in the light of what emerges, the author discovers fresh understandings of sexuality, politics, the role of humanity in the cosmos and the power of beauty; his discussion ends with facing our society’s unmentionable question: death. Here is a fine book for all explorers into the deeper meaning of what it is to be human.

The Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

  • For many years this has served as the classic English speaking introduction to Orthodoxy, and for good reason, there is much to benefit from this book. Metropolitan Kallistos (at the time he wrote it, he was a layman by the name Timothy Ware) covers alot of territory and shares the wisdom of the fathers of the Church in this book by having quotes at the end of each section.
  • This book is a general account of the doctrine, worship and life of Orthodox Christians by the author of the now classic The Orthodox Church. It raises the basic issues of theology: God is hidden yet revealed; the problem with evil; the nature of salvation; the meaning of faith; prayer; death and what lies beyond. In so doing, it helps to fill the need for modern Orthodox catechism. Yet this book is not a mere manual, a dry-as-dust repository of information. Throughout the book, Bishop Kallistos Ware shows the meaning of Orthodox doctrine for the life of the individual Christian. Doctrinal issues are seen not as abstract propositions for theological debate but as affecting the whole of life. A wealth of texts drawn from theologians and spiritual writers of all ages accompanies Bishop Kallistos’ presentation. They, too, reveal Orthodoxy not just as a system of beliefs, practices and customs but indeed as the Way.

Orthodox Christianity: Reasonable Faith by Fr. Peter Farrington

  • Fr. Peter Farrington is a distinguished scholarly priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK. He has distinguished himself for his servce to the church by his many and vast area of publication. Many will know him for his books on (Oriental) Orthodox Christology but in this book his reverence introduces the reader to the Orthodox Faith a reasonable faith. Contrary to the many delusions today that the only faithful religious people must be at best simple and at worst delusional, Fr. Peter shows us that the Christian faith is what helps us make sense of existence, the cosmos and our very lives.
  • From the back cover: “Father Peter Farrington considers the reasonable evidence for the Orthodox Christian Faith, and responds to criticisms of Christianity being a leap in the dark, or equivalent to believing in fairy stories. He begins by showing the reasonable evidence that God exists, that there was person called Jesus, and that his life and teaching are reasonably preserved in the Gospels. He asks what sort of person Jesus was, and what he said about himself. Father Peter reflects on the problem of evil and suffering in the world and shows that this is not inconsistent with the existence of God. He concludes by examining some of the evidence that makes it reasonable to believe that the Orthodox Church is the same Church that Jesus established in the first century, and describes some of the basic teachings of the Orthodox Church, which the reasonable nature of the Orthodox Faith demand be taken seriously.”

Thirsting For God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin

  • Beginning in the street ministry days of the Jesus Movement, Matthew Gallatin devoted more than 20 years to evangelical Christian ministry. He was a singer/songwriter, worship leader, youth leader, and Calvary Chapel pastor. Nevertheless, he eventually accepted a painful reality: no matter how hard he tried, he was never able to experience the God whom he longed to know. In encountering Orthodox Christianity, he finally found the fullness of the Faith.In Thirsting for God, philosophy professor Gallatin expresses many of the struggles that a Protestant will encounter in coming face to face with Orthodoxy: such things as Protestant relativism, rationalism versus the Orthodox sacramental path to God, and the unity of Scripture and Tradition. He also discusses praying with icons, praying formal prayers, and many other Orthodox traditions.An outstanding book that will help Orthodox readers more deeply appreciate their faith and will give Protestant readers a more thorough understanding of the Church.
  • For those interested in learning more about Matthew Gallatin, I would direct your attention to a beautiful talk he gave here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34DfZ_wI_6w
  • Also his very helpful podcast is accessible here: http://www.ancientfaith.com/browse/tag/matthew+gallatin

 

Patristics

On the Incarnation of The Word by St. Athanasius

  • The timeless work of St. Athanasius on the creation, the Divine Logos and His coming to save His dying humanity.
  • This work is available across the internet in various older translations including this one; http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.i.html.
  • Hyperlinked above is the newer translation from SVS press

On The Unity of Christ by St. Cyril of Alexandria

The Life of Antony by St. Athanasius

  • A timeless classic that gives us the tools by which we may withstand the attacks of our enemies. The Life of Antony presents us St. Anthony, not as luminous victor, but rather as a weak mortal just as we are. St. Antony, in his perseverance, and through the synergistic work of Christ with Antony’s labours, is able to resist the demons (even when they physically assail him). Many of his demons are similar to those demons we experience today, only we are much less aware. Come and learn of the true Christian perfection to which all of us are called.
  • The letter to Marcellinus will help all of us to re-appropriate the language of Scripture in both our understanding but also in our prayers. We often stand outside the Scripture and scrutinize its contents but we have not received the wisdom of the fathers to allow us to appropriate it, to make it our own. This is what St. Athanasius’ letter gives us an opportunity to begin doing.
  • From the cover: “‘And it seems to me that these words become like a mirror to the persons singing them, so that he might perceive himself and the emotions of his soul, and thus affected, he might recite them. For in fact he who hears the one reading receives the song that is recited as being about him, and either, when he is convicted by his conscience, being pierced, he will repent, or hearing of the hope that resides in God, and of the succor available to believers-how this kind of grace exists for him-he exults and begins to give thanks to God.’ Athanasius (c. 295-373)Athanasius was a major figure of 14th-century Christendom. As the Bishop of Alexandria, spiritual master and theologian, he led the Church in its battle against the Arian heresy. Athanasius’ The Life of Antony is one of the foremost classics of Christian asceticism. It tells the spiritual story of St. Antony, the founder of Christian monasticism. Written at the request of the desert monks of Egypt to provide “an ideal pattern of the ascetical life,” it immediately became astonishingly popular. This work contributed greatly to the establishment of monastic life in Western Christianity. From a literary perspective, it created a new Christian genre for the lives of saints.The Letter to Marcellinus is an introduction to the spiritual sense of the Psalms. The Psalms are presented as a variety of attitudes which coexist in a truly harmonious and whole sense of prayer.

On the Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus (PPS)

  • Here St. Irenaeus has produced one of the first coherent and directed accounts of the Christian faith. Most interestingly, he has done this through quoting the Old Testament texts copiously throughout this work. This powerful little book can give the reader a clear idea as to how the early Church came to appropriate and read the Old Testament in the light of the Risen Christ and His economy of Salvation. A hugely rewarding read!

Works on The Spirit by St. Athanasius and Didymus the Blind

  • For those seeking to understand how the Orthodox Church has always seen the activity of the Spirit, this is a must-read resource. Here we have the letters of St. Athanasius to a fellow bishop, Serapion. In addition are the works of Didymus the blind, one time dean of Alexandria’s vaunted catechetical school. In these works you will find some good way-points in seeing the work of The Spirit throughout the Scriptures but also a beautiful illustration of the whole economy of salvation. For many Christians the Spirit is unfortunately a bystander in the whole economy of salvation. For St. Athanasius and Didymus, this was certainly not the case, nor is it the case for Orthodox Christians today. Come learn of The Spirit Who gives life and unites us to The Father.

On the Human Condition by St. Basil The Great

  • In this short but beautiful study we are exposed to some of the beautiful writing of St. Basil, who is not read nearly often enough. This is such an interesting work as it shows St. Basil as both a shepherd of souls but also as theologian. The table of contents is as follows,
    On the Origin of Humanity
    – Discourse 1: On that which is according to the Image
    – Discourse 2: On the human being
    Homily Explaining that God is Not the Cause of Evil
    Homily Against Anger
    Homily on the Words “Be Attentive to Yourself”
    Letter 233, to Bishop Amphilochius, Who Has Asked a Question
    Long Rules (Selections)
    In topics ranging from anthropology to theodicy, a lot of ground is covered in this short volume. One thing that may be surprising to readers is the beautiful selections from St. Basil’s rules. Here he establishes the foundation of the monastic life which the communities under his supervision were to operate on. The rules, far from being a mechanical list of ‘do’s’ and ‘dont’s’ are rather an interviewing of theology and ‘practice’. St. Basil does not believe in a theology separate from ascetical striving and in his rules he gives a theological impetus to all that he asks the faithful ascetic (lay and monastic) to pursue.

 

The Cult of The Saints by St. John Chrysostom (PPS)
Baptismal Instructions by St. John Chrysostom
Fasting and Feasts by St. Basil the Great (PPS)
Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic fathers by Fr. Andrew Louth
On God and Christ by St. Gregory the Theologian (PPS)
On Christian Doctrine and Practice by St. Basil the Great (PPS)
On The Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes by St. Gregory of Nyssa
Pseudo-Macarius: The Fifty Spiritual Homilies and the Great Letter
On Social Justice by St. Basil the Great (PPS)
On The Holy Spirit by St. Basil the Great (PPS)
On Wealth and Poverty by St. John Chrysostom (PPS)
Festal Orations by St. Gregory of Nazianzus (PPS)

Scripture

The Christian Old Testament: Looking at the Hebrew Scriptures Through Christian Eyes by Fr. Lawrence Farley

  • A very well done book which provides the Christian many insights into how to read the Scripture.
  • From the publisher: “Many Christians see the Old Testament as “the other Testament” a source of exciting stories to tell the kids, but not very relevant to the Christian life. The Christian Old Testament reveals the Hebrew Scriptures as the essential context of Christianity, as well as a many-layered revelation of Christ Himself. Follow along as Fr. Lawrence Farley explores the Christian significance of every book of the Old Testament.”

Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Creation Narratives by Peter Bouteneff

  • A very helpful grounding in the text of Genesis and what we seem to be missing today in our reading of it. With Christianity divided as to how to interpret the first chapters of Genesis, this book is a much needed corrective to that.
  • From the publisher: “What are we missing when we look at the creation narratives of Genesis only or primarily through the lens of modern discourse about science and religion? Theologian Peter Bouteneff explores how first-millennium Christian understandings of creation can inform current thought in the church and in the public square. He reaches back into the earliest centuries of our era to recover the meanings that early Jewish and Christian writers found in the stories of the six days of creation and of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Readers will find that their forbears in the faith saw in the Genesis narrative not simply an account of origins but also a rich teaching about the righteousness of God, the saving mission of Christ, and the destiny of the human creature.”

St. John Chrysostom Homilies on the Old Testament: Homilies on the Obscurity of the Old Testament; Homilies on the Psalms by Robert Charles Hill

  • This volume is volume 3 of a 3 volume project by Robert Hill to translate some of the works of St. John Chrysostom (and he has translated other fathers as well) into English. Ignore his footnotes and his running commentary (especially when reading the works of St. Cyril of Alexandria translated by him) but take the works for the beauty within them.
  • From the publisher: “Three volumes with Chrysostom’s homilies on Old Testament prophets, heroes and texts. Volume One includes homilies on Hannah, David and Saul. Volume Two includes homilies on Isaiah and Jeremiah. Volume Three includes homilies on various Psalms and on the obscurity of the Old Testament. “Sometimes by choice, sometimes of necessity, St John Chrysostom in the course of his ministry in Antioch and Constantinople addressed congregations on Old Testament texts and figures, including the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. It may have been political developments in Antioch, like the Statues affair in 387 putting emperor and bishop at odds, that made a prolonged commentary on David and Saul also an apposite subject. Or the liturgy of the day may have required exposition of a psalm text sung as a response. Or perhaps the relative obscurity of the Old Testament in general called for comment. In these three volumes a score of Chrysostom’s homilies on Old Testament prophets, heroes and texts are finally made available in English, throwing light on him as homilist, scriptural interpreter, liturgical leader, moral and spiritual guide, and even as political commentator. Volume Three includes homilies on various Psalms and on the obscurity of the Old Testament. “

St. Cyril of Alexandria Homilies on Isaiah (in 3 volumes) by Robert Charles Hill

  •  Here for the first time are St. Cyril of Alexandria’s homilies on Isaiah in 3 separate volumes by Charles Hill. As long as one can get past the footnotes and running commentary of Hill, then you will love this commentary. St. Cyril approaches the text from multiple vantages and is able to draw things out that we might not otherwise appreciate. We need the commentary of the fathers today to help us really read these texts as they were meant to be. I have linked volume 1 but 3 volumes are available. Unfortunately Hill passed away before he could complete the last volume so the commentary stops at chapter 50 of Isaiah.
  • From the publisher: “Available for the first time in a modern English translation, this imposing work by one of the great churchmen of the fifth century had been neglected on library shelves in a less-than-accessible Greek edition. Cyril of Alexandria wrote his Commentary on Isaiah during a time of ecclesiastical and theological peace, in the years before the Nestorian controversy. It is a work of dedication and balance by one who resonates with “the most articulate of all the prophets,” as Chrysostom had called Isaiah. In the exegesis, we see the true Cyril, not the “ecclesiastical thug” portrayed by critics of his later involvement in polemic and conciliar maneuvering. Through the clarity of Robert Charles Hill’s translation, readers will also recognize the same exegetical and hermeneutical skills that Cyril demonstrated in his earlier commentary. Cyril takes seriously all details and facts of the Isaian text, while unpacking the layers of imagery. Yet he readily admits that historia yields in importance to dianoia, and he can move readily to Christological and ecclesiological meanings.

St. Gregory of Nyssa: The Life of Moses

  • Here is one of St. Gregory of Nyssa’s later works called the life of Moses. In this work he describes that the Scripture did not simply bequeath to us details about Moses’ life without meaning. The steps of Moses’ life are a example to us of the path of the Spiritual life which we too are to undertake. For example, in Moses’ birth St. Gregory speaks to us of our own birth and that in the Spiritual life we have the choice to be the authors of our own birth. We can choose to live to God or to live to sin (and thereby die).
  • For those interested in a short taste of this work, see this podcast: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/holyfathers/st._gregory_of_nyssa_on_emulating_the_fortuitous_birth_of_moses1

St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John Volume 1 

  • In this masterful work, St. Cyril of Alexandria lays out an indepth understanding of the first 7 chapters of the Gospel of St. John. Those who have never read St. Cyril will be astounded at the way St. Cyril brings together numerous Scriptural texts, as though threads in a tapestry, to paint a cohesive picture or pattern of the Scripture. His knowledge of the Scriptures is clearly very intimate (we know he had much of it memorized) and he has a very discerning eye. It is amazing to see how St. Cyril sees Christ in the text but also paints a cohesive understanding of the Christian revelation in every verse he reads. There is no inclination of our modern notions of subdividing the faith into ‘Christology’, ‘Soteriology’, ‘Trinitarian theology’, ‘eschatology’. Rather St. Cyril will tell us that there is no way to understand the Christian revelation of the God-man who took flesh, though being the Son of God, that by own proximity to the Father and immortality He might renew our union with the Godhead,  in Himself, which shall be fully realized in the age to come when Christ becomes all in all.

 

Orthodox Theology

Cosmic Man: The Divine Presence by H.E. Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios

  • A work of profound theology by the late Metropolitan of Delhi. H.E. Metropolitan Paulos mar Gregorios was an Oriental Indian Orthodox bishop and a scholar of St. Gregory of Nyssa. Here H.E. studies the theology of St. Gregory of Nyssa as a representative of the entire Eastern tradition and discusses some of the divergences of western (Catholic and protestant) theology as compared to Eastern Orthodox Theology. This work is a little bit more difficult but it is very rewarding if you are able to make it through, truly profound.
  • This book has unfortunately become very hard to locate, perhaps if enough of us mail the publisher then they will begin to print more! In the meantime, you access some of H.E.’s writings at this very helpful website (which has plenty of non-chalcedonian fathers);
  • Orthokairos.weebly.com/authors

 

Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine by Fr. Khaled Anatolios

  • “In this volume Khaled Anatolios, a noted expert on the development of Nicene theology, offers a historically informed theological study of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity and examines its relevance to Christian life and thought today. According to Anatolios, the development of trinitarian doctrine involved a global interpretation of Christian faith as a whole. Consequently, the meaning of trinitarian doctrine is to be found in a reappropriation of the process of this development, such that the entirety of Christian existence is interpreted in a trinitarian manner. Retrieving Nicaea provides essential resources for this reappropriation by identifying the network of theological issues that comprise the “systematic scope” of Nicene theology, focusing especially on the trinitarian perspectives of three major theologians: Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine.”
  • Fr. Khaled Anatolios (not yet ordained at the time of the writing of this book, now serving as an Eastern Catholic priest) has written here what many will consider the best available work on Trinitarian theology out there. Fr. Khaled gives an unsurpassed summary and orientation to the controversies, drawing the broad brush strokes of what these conflicts were about while giving us intimate details what these theologians were doing and thinking in their conflicts. He then focuses on how this is played out in the theologies of Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine. His chapters on Sts. Athanasius and Gregory of Nyssa are beautiful elaborations of how soteriology and trinitarian theology are really not separate ‘disciplines’ for academic study. Rather the soteriological and trinitarian convictions we hold, inform each other and are dependent upon one another. This work is a harder read but will reward the curious, patient reader who is happy to read and re-read sections.

Roots of Christian Mysticism (linked above)

For The Life of The World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

  • In For the Life of the World Alexander Schmemann suggests an approach to the world and life within it, which stems from the liturgical experience of the Orthodox Church. He understands issues such as secularism and Christian culture from the perspective of the unbroken experience of the Church, as revealed and communicated in her worship, in her liturgy – the sacrament of the world, the sacrament of the Kingdom.
  • This is a work of theology par excellence. Fr. Alexander gives us a whole picture of Orthodoxy theology here as he applies his deep knowledge of the patristic witness to how we play this out daily in our lives as Christians and in the drama of the liturgical life which we are (should be) immersed in. Beautiful beyond words.

 

 

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