The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years

Feast of Eulampius & Eulampia the Martyrs
Christian_West_and_its_Singers_Square.jpegThe Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years by Christopher Page

READING this account of liturgical singing in the early Church, one marvels at the detective work of Dr. Page, a reader in Medieval Literature and Musicology at Cambridge. No musical scores survived this period (staff notation itself was first developed in the 11th century, as an aid to... Continue Reading


Homilies on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

Feast of St Thecla the Protomartyr & Equal to the Apostles
Gregory_on_Ezekiel_Square.jpgHomilies on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel by St. Gregory the Great; translated by Theodosia Tomkison

ORIGINALLY delivered in AD 593 as Lombard hordes surrounded a beleaguered Rome, Pope Gregory's exposition of Ezekiel overflows with concern for the preservation of the Church's spiritual life in difficult times. This is therefore necessarily a pedagogical work, a "curriculum"... Continue Reading


The Patristic Doctrine of Redemption

Forefeast of the Transfiguration
The Patristic Doctrine of Redemption: A Study of the Development of Doctrine During the First Five Centuries by H. E. W. Turner

Patristic_Doctrrine_of_Redemption.jpgBASED UPON a series of lectures given in 1949 during Passion Week, H. E. W. Turner builds upon the foundation laid eighteen years earlier by Gustaf Aulen’s seminal work on the atonement, Christus Victor. While Aulen revived what he described as the “classic”... Continue Reading


The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition

Feast of the Holy Virgin Theodota
The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition by Norman Russell

Doctrine_of_Deification_Square.jpegGOD BECAME man in order that man might become God” is one of the dominant themes in the Greek Fathers from St. Irenaeus forward, the exegetical development of the scriptural phrases “you are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you” (Ps. 81/2.6) and “that you might . . .... Continue Reading


Partakers of the Divine Nature

Feast of St. Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles
Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions edited by Michael J. Christensen and Jeffery A. Wittung

Partakers_Divine_Nature_Square.jpgPARTAKERS of the Divine Nature is an uncommon anthology. Born from an academic conference exploring the topic of theosis / deification at Drew University, it is a collection of essays by writers representing the perspectives of both... Continue Reading


The Lives of Simeon Stylites

Feast of St Athanasius of Athos
The Lives of Simeon Stylites translated by Robert Doran; foreword by Susan Ashbrook Harvey

Lives_of_Symeon_Stylites_Square.jpgOF ALL THE pioneers of asceticism in the ancient world, the stylites have drawn the most puzzled attention – not to say derision – from their modern observers. Sitting atop high pillars, exposed to the elements (much can be left to the imagination here) and dependent upon disciples for what... Continue Reading


St Gregory Palamas: The Homilies

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Holy Apostles
St. Gregory Palamas: The Homilies translated by Christopher Veniamin

Palamas_Homilies_Square.jpgA CHRISTIAN should be able to recall, with reverence, the names of the men and women in any given century who speak with the voice of the Church. The list should include Apostles and writers of Scripture, and great defenders of the faith such as Irenaeus, Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers, Maximus... Continue Reading


St Gregory Palamas: The Triads

Feast of St Eusebius Bishop of Samosata
St. Gregory Palamas: The Triads translated by Nicholas Gendle; introduction by John Meyendorff; preface by Jaraslov Pelikan

Palamas_Triads_Square.jpgTHE SUB-HEADINGS of the selections from The Triads presented here – apophatic theology as a positive experience; the Hesychast method of prayer and the transformation of the body; deification in Christ; the uncreated Glory; the essence and energies of God – describe not only the... Continue Reading


For the Life of the World

Feast of St Innocent, Enlightener of Siberia & Alaska
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann

For_Life_of_World_Square.jpegTHIS WATERSHED work of sacramental theology is really a fundamental redefinition of terms—secular, religious, worship, sacrament, sin, symbol—framed within an interpretive, movement-by-movement description of the Liturgy. It owes its greatness and its transforming power to Schmemann’s sense of the essential: that our fundamental role as human beings was... Continue Reading


Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Feast of St Hermas the Apostle of the 70 and Theophylact the Confessor, Bishop of Nicomedia
Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers edited by Tim Vivian; translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and John Eudes Bamberger

Becoming_Fire_Square.jpgA REMARKABLE double-movement took place within the Church at the close of the Age of Martyrs: Christian Empire and Christian Monasticism. Most historians treat these subjects separately, but we... Continue Reading