Fathers of the Church

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Fathers of the Church,

collective name for the Christian writers of early times whose work is considered generally orthodox. A convenient definition includes all such writers up to and including St. Gregory IGregory I, Saint
(Saint Gregory the Great), c.540–604, pope (590–604), a Roman; successor of Pelagius II. A Doctor of the Church, he was distinguished for his spiritual and temporal leadership. His feast is celebrated on Mar. 12.
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 (St. Gregory the Great) in the West and St. John of DamascusJohn of Damascus, Saint,
or Saint John Damascene
, c.675–c.749, Syrian theologian, Father of the Church and Doctor of the Church. He was brought up at the court of the caliph in Damascus, where his father was an official, and he was educated by a Sicilian monk.
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 in the East (see patristic literaturepatristic literature,
Christian writings of the first few centuries. They are chiefly in Greek and Latin; there is analogous writing in Syriac and in Armenian. The first period of patristic literature (1st–2d cent.) includes the works of St. Clement I, St.
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). There are several conventional groupings of the Fathers of the Church. One of these is the Apostolic Fathers, usually considered to include the authors of the Didache, of the Epistles of Clement, of the Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch, and of the Shepherd of Hermas. In an ancient category of honor eight Doctors of the Church are set apart; the Four Doctors of the Greek Church are St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Athanasius; the Four Doctors of the Latin Church are St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Gregory the Great. Since the 16th cent., the title Doctor of the Church has also been given by the Roman Catholic Church to later doctrinal writers, including St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventura, St. Anselm, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, and St. Catherine of Siena.

Fathers of the Church


the traditional designation of the most prominent leaders of the Christian church from the second through eighth centuries; they formulated its dogmas and its organization.

In Roman Catholicism the principal church fathers were Ambrose of Milan, Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory I the Great. In the Orthodox Church they were Athanasius of Alexandria, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, and John Damascene. The church regards as fathers only those whom it has canonized as saints and whose teachings are acknowledged to be orthodox. Accordingly, such prominent early Christian thinkers as Origen and Tertullian are not included among the fathers of the church.

References in periodicals archive ?
National Socialism claimed, after all, to be the Third Reich, successor to the First Reich, and the First Reich was the Holy Roman Empire that the Church Fathers identified with the katechon.
The church fathers treated such topics as the vocabulary of deification or the place of theosis in divine economy with slight differences; the book exposes these details.
Vessey seeks to demonstrate that Erasmus's Christian humanism was more Christian, and indebted more directly to his reading of the church fathers, in particular Jerome, than recent work by Lisa Jardine and Istvan Bejczy suggests.
The book is arranged in two parts, the first purporting to cover general attitudes towards virginity in this time period and the second a study of virginity in the writings of the church fathers.
I do not recall too many instances where the apostles, the early church fathers and subsequent great Christian thinkers and believers hesitated to make their positions clear, although not necessarily consistent.
Neither the Apostles nor the Church Fathers would likely recognize Santa Claus or know from figgie puddings.
The Vatican made no secret of how the Church fathers expected the faithful to vote.
Business ethics grew out of attempts to reconcile Biblical precepts, canon law, civil law, the teachings of the Church Fathers, and the writings of early philosophers with the realities of expanding economic activity.
In the graced moments of restored vision, we come to dwell, as the ancient Church Fathers and Spiritual Mothers were fond of saying, in the eighth day of creation.
No-one has thought to go back to the Bible and to the Church Fathers - the earliest writers on ecclesiastical history - to ascertain the correct date.
1) The new volume gives exhaustive individual descriptions of all ancient manuscripts of Church Fathers written in Greek on papyri published up to 1995.