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Gregory of Nazianzus

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  • 1. Gregory of NazianzusGregory of Nazianzus aka…aka…  Gregory theGregory the TheologianTheologian  GregoryGregory NazianzenNazianzen  329/330 – 389/390 CE329/330 – 389/390 CE
  • 2. Gregory of NazianzusGregory of Nazianzus  Who he was?Who he was?  Where he lived?Where he lived?  When he lived?When he lived?  What were the questions & challengesWhat were the questions & challenges he was facing?he was facing?  How did he deal with them?How did he deal with them?  An aspect of his life & contributionAn aspect of his life & contribution
  • 3. Gregory of NazianzusGregory of Nazianzus  Born 329 & died 389 in Arianzus, CappadociaBorn 329 & died 389 in Arianzus, Cappadocia (Asia Minor)(Asia Minor)  Venerated in Eastern & Western ChurchVenerated in Eastern & Western Church  Feast day = Jan. 2Feast day = Jan. 2ndnd or 25or 25thth (day of his death)(day of his death)  ““Doctor of the Church” (Western)Doctor of the Church” (Western)  ““Hierarch of the Church” (Eastern)Hierarch of the Church” (Eastern)  Trinitarian theologian (Christ & the Spirit)Trinitarian theologian (Christ & the Spirit)  Rhetorical orator; ascetic; reluctant leader;Rhetorical orator; ascetic; reluctant leader; prolific writer; saintly theologian.prolific writer; saintly theologian.
  • 4. The Cappadocian fathersThe Cappadocian fathers  Gregory of NazianzusGregory of Nazianzus  Basil the Great (bro.)Basil the Great (bro.)  Gregory of Nyssa (bro.)Gregory of Nyssa (bro.) The Three Holy HierarchsThe Three Holy Hierarchs (Eastern Church)(Eastern Church)  Gregory, Basil &Gregory, Basil & John ChrysostomJohn Chrysostom
  • 5. The Doctors of the ChurchThe Doctors of the Church Western (Latin)Western (Latin)  Ambrose of MilanAmbrose of Milan  Augustine of HippoAugustine of Hippo  Jerome of StridoJerome of Strido  Gregory the GreatGregory the Great (Pope Gregory I)(Pope Gregory I) Eastern (Greek)Eastern (Greek)  Athanasius of AlexandriaAthanasius of Alexandria  John Chrysostom ofJohn Chrysostom of Antioch & ConstantinopleAntioch & Constantinople  Basil the GreatBasil the Great  Gregory of NazianzusGregory of Nazianzus
  • 6. CappadociaCappadocia Acts 2:6-11Acts 2:6-11 1 Peter 1:1-21 Peter 1:1-2 Constantinople. Nicaea .
  • 7. Acts 2:6-11Acts 2:6-11 When they heard this sound, a crowd cameWhen they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each onetogether in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterlyheard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who areamazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each ofspeaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents ofParthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea andMesopotamia, Judea and CappadociaCappadocia,, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene;Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts tovisitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—wewe hear themhear them declaring the wonders of God in our owndeclaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!tongues! ""
  • 8. 1 Peter 1:1-21 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,   To God's elect, exiles scattered throughout theTo God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia,provinces of Pontus, Galatia, CappadociaCappadocia,, Asia and Bithynia - who have been chosenAsia and Bithynia - who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge ofaccording to the foreknowledge of God theGod the FatherFather, through the sanctifying work of the, through the sanctifying work of the SpiritSpirit, for obedience to, for obedience to Jesus ChristJesus Christ andand sprinkling with his blood -sprinkling with his blood -        Grace and peace be yours in abundance.       Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
  • 9. Cappadocian ChristiansCappadocian Christians  Experience ofExperience of the grace of Godthe grace of God  Acquaintance withAcquaintance with suffering for Godsuffering for God
  • 10. Ambrose & GregoryAmbrose & Gregory  338-397 CE338-397 CE  WesternWestern  EuropeEurope  MilanMilan  Theologian,Theologian, preacher & hymnpreacher & hymn writerwriter  329-389 CE329-389 CE  EasternEastern  AsiaAsia  ConstantinopleConstantinople  Theologian,Theologian, preacher & poetpreacher & poet
  • 11. Background influences (on his life)Background influences (on his life)  Conversion of Constantine 312Conversion of Constantine 312  Council of Nicaea 325 (to decide over theCouncil of Nicaea 325 (to decide over the true nature of Christ: Athanasius vs Arius)true nature of Christ: Athanasius vs Arius)  Ongoing theological Trinitarian tensionsOngoing theological Trinitarian tensions  Decline of Roman Empire (apostateDecline of Roman Empire (apostate emperor)emperor)  Conversion of Goths to ArianismConversion of Goths to Arianism  Godly mother (Nonna) & converted fatherGodly mother (Nonna) & converted father (Gregory), Bishop of Nazianzus – formerly(Gregory), Bishop of Nazianzus – formerly wealthy landowners.wealthy landowners.
  • 12. Outline of his lifeOutline of his life  His education (Caesarea Cappadocia, CaesareaHis education (Caesarea Cappadocia, Caesarea Maritima, Alexandria & Athens –Maritima, Alexandria & Athens – till age 30till age 30))  His ordination & ministryHis ordination & ministry Monastic/ascetic life (356, edits works of Origen)Monastic/ascetic life (356, edits works of Origen) Nazianzus (Christmas, 361 – as a presbyter)Nazianzus (Christmas, 361 – as a presbyter) Sasima (appt. by Basil)Sasima (appt. by Basil) Constantinople (Bishop, 379)Constantinople (Bishop, 379) Council of Constantinople (381)Council of Constantinople (381) Nazianzus (returns till 383, declining health)Nazianzus (returns till 383, declining health) Arianzus (retires, writes & d. 389/390)Arianzus (retires, writes & d. 389/390)
  • 13. Monastic and Ascetic lifeMonastic and Ascetic life 11stst fleeing (358-359)fleeing (358-359) a. Personal strugglea. Personal struggle  PhysicallyPhysically  PersonalityPersonality  ProfessionallyProfessionally
  • 14. Monastic and Ascetic lifeMonastic and Ascetic life 11stst fleeing (358-359)fleeing (358-359) b. Pressure from Basilb. Pressure from Basil
  • 15. Monastic and Ascetic lifeMonastic and Ascetic life 11stst fleeing (358-359)fleeing (358-359) c. Producedc. Produced  Philokalio OrigenisPhilokalio Origenis  ““In Defense of his Flight.In Defense of his Flight.””  Orations 1-3Orations 1-3  Oration 15 & InvectiveOration 15 & Invective AgainstAgainst JulianJulian
  • 16. Monastic and Ascetic lifeMonastic and Ascetic life 22ndnd fleeing (362)fleeing (362)   Appointment as bishop of SasimaAppointment as bishop of Sasima  Returns as result of father’s pressureReturns as result of father’s pressure  Parents dieParents die  Assumes Father’s pastoral dutiesAssumes Father’s pastoral duties
  • 17. Monastic and Ascetic lifeMonastic and Ascetic life 33rdrd fleeing (375-379)fleeing (375-379)    Women’s convent on the south coast ofWomen’s convent on the south coast of Cappadocia, SeleuciaCappadocia, Seleucia  Happy time for GregoryHappy time for Gregory  Returns to Church lifeReturns to Church life  ByzantiumByzantium  ConstantinopleConstantinople
  • 18. His orationsHis orations  45 orations (“spoken reason”)45 orations (“spoken reason”)  Formal speech, pleading a cause, before aFormal speech, pleading a cause, before a court/ assembly on a ceremonial occasioncourt/ assembly on a ceremonial occasion  Eulogies for his father (Gregory) & friend (Basil)Eulogies for his father (Gregory) & friend (Basil)  Apologetics on nature of the priesthoodApologetics on nature of the priesthood  Attack on (Emperor) Julian the ApostateAttack on (Emperor) Julian the Apostate  In praise of Athanasius the Great (d. 373)In praise of Athanasius the Great (d. 373)  Five Theological Orations vs. Eunomian AriansFive Theological Orations vs. Eunomian Arians & Macedonians (#’s 27-31)& Macedonians (#’s 27-31)
  • 19. Five Theological OrationsFive Theological Orations 1.1. Necessity of a pure mind & life free of sin –Necessity of a pure mind & life free of sin – in order to study, rightly contemplate Godin order to study, rightly contemplate God 2.2. Unknowability of God. May not knowUnknowability of God. May not know whatwhat God is, but creation declaresGod is, but creation declares thatthat God isGod is 3.3. Defence of the trinity & unity of GodDefence of the trinity & unity of God Eternal existence of Son & Spirit,Eternal existence of Son & Spirit, proceeding from the Fatherproceeding from the Father 4.4. Union of Godhead & Manhood in ChristUnion of Godhead & Manhood in Christ 5.5. Divinity of person of the Holy SpiritDivinity of person of the Holy Spirit
  • 20. His writingsHis writings  245 letters/ epistles245 letters/ epistles  400 poems (“30,000 verses” - Jerome)400 poems (“30,000 verses” - Jerome)  Autobiographical poem: “On his life” (2000 lines)Autobiographical poem: “On his life” (2000 lines)  ““The poet of Eastern Christendom”The poet of Eastern Christendom” In naming Gregory of Nazianzus “the Theologian”,In naming Gregory of Nazianzus “the Theologian”, a title only given to two other men (John the 1a title only given to two other men (John the 1stst C. Evangelist & Symeon the 10C. Evangelist & Symeon the 10thth C. Theologian),C. Theologian), the Church was saying that poetry expresses thethe Church was saying that poetry expresses the mystery of who God is and how God works bettermystery of who God is and how God works better than any linear reasoning!than any linear reasoning!
  • 21. Insights on Christian leadershipInsights on Christian leadership  Duties of the clergyDuties of the clergy (Ambrose)(Ambrose)  Called to teachCalled to teach  Learn to interpretLearn to interpret  Learn in silenceLearn in silence  Learn in humilityLearn in humility  ……Flight from PontusFlight from Pontus (Gregory(Gregory Nazianzen)Nazianzen)
  • 22. His last yearsHis last years 382-383382-383 Returns to NazianzusReturns to Nazianzus Pastoral dutiesPastoral duties Encourages church to find a new bishopEncourages church to find a new bishop 383383 Retirement for treatmentRetirement for treatment 384384 Eulasios succeeds himEulasios succeeds him 384384 Final retirement to ArianzusFinal retirement to Arianzus
  • 23. His last yearsHis last years
  • 24. Lasting contributionLasting contribution In his development of terminology,In his development of terminology, Gregory helped toGregory helped to clarify theclarify the languagelanguage of Nicaea andof Nicaea and lay thelay the foundationfoundation for the debates of the 5for the debates of the 5thth Century ecumenical councils.Century ecumenical councils.

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