Cappadocian Fathers – Wed. 9:00 AM with Dcn. Nicholas Newman (2024-2025)

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Three names stand out in the aftermath of the First Ecumenical Council, who took up the mantle of Orthodoxy against a resurgent Arianism: St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, and St Gregory of Nyssa. In this course, we will examine the writings of these three Church fathers, called the Cappadocian Fathers, and see how they proclaimed the truth of Orthodoxy. The course will begin by looking at Fr. John Behr’s book The Way to Nicaea, to better understand the theological context in which they are writing. We will then discuss the historical context in which these Church Fathers find themselves, the fourth century, using one of St Basil the Great’s treatises: Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature as a jumping off point to discuss the complexities of the fourth century, and how this can influence the way we look at our society today. The bulk of the class will be in reading and discussing the theological texts of these Church Fathers, however. Particularly, we will be looking at On the Holy Spirit by St Basil the Great, the Five Theological Orations, by St Gregory, On the Soul and the Resurrection and The Life of Moses by St Gregory of Nyssa (among others).