Gregory of Nazianzus

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Gregory of Nazianzus


(Gregory the Theologian). Born around 330, near Nazianzus in Cappadocia. Asia Minor; died there around 390. Greek poet and prose writer. Church figure and religious thinker. One of the most prominent patristic figures.

Gregory of Nazianzus received a brilliant education in rhetoric and philosophy, which was crowned by language study in an institution of higher learning in Athens, where he became a friend of Basil the Great. In 379 he was summoned by the orthodox community to the episcopate in Constantinople, in order to contribute to the struggle against Arianism, and in 381 he presided at the Second Ecumenical Council. However, also in 381, in a situation marked by turmoil and intrigue, he resigned his episcopal office and returned to his homeland. As a theologian Gregory of Nazianzus was a member of the so-called Cappadocian circle, which included Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa. The circle introduced the methods of Platonic idealistic dialectics into theology.

Gregory of Nazianzus’ greatest prose achievements were his funeral panegyrics to his father and Basil the Great. His lyric poetry is distinguished by an intimate and varied intonation. The autobiographical poems On My Life, On My Fate, and On My Sufferings, with their psychological profundity and standard of self-analysis, are on a par with St. Augustine’s Confessions.


Briefe. Edited by P. Gallay. Berlin, 1969.
Tvoreniia, vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1844–68.
Pamiatniki vizantiiskoi literatury 4–9 vekov. Moscow, 1968. Pages 70–83.


Istoriia Vizantii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1967. Pages 417–19.


References in periodicals archive ?
Concerning the first task, working groups were given an excerpt from Ambrose of Milan (fourth century CE), Gregory the Theologian (fourth century CE) or Isaac of Ninevah (seventh century CE).
For instance, St Gregory the Theologian contrasts his mother Nonna with Eve in the way they related to their husbands.
St Gregory the Theologian uses a Pauline image to illustrate this point.
6) See especially the works by St Athanasius of Alexandria, St Gregory the Theologian, St Maximus the Confessor.
10) Gregory the Theologian, Oration 45 on Easter, PG 36, 632Af.
Long before Symeon, St Gregory the Theologian affirmed that as long as a man has not risen above his passions and cleansed his intellect, he should not take the priestly service upon himself.
Between the three great Cappadocians (Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and Gregory of Nyssa), for instance, there exists a direct and immediate connection: they knew each other, were "allies" in theological writing, lived in the same church-historical context, used the same sources, wrote in the same language and read each other's works.
One may, for instance, compare the teaching of St Athanasius and Arianism (since the former was engaged in polemics with the latter); the theological systems of Eunomius and Gregory of Nyssa (since Gregory refuted Eunomius); the viewpoints of Gregory the Theologian and Julian the Apostate (since they were contemporaries, knew each other, and Gregory wrote denunciatory letters against Julian); Manichaeism and the theology of Blessed Augustine (since Augustine was a Manichaean before his conversion to Christianity); the theology of St John of Damascus and Islam (since St John was engaged in polemics with Islam), and so on.