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Known as 'the Theologian', St Gregory of Nazianzus is, with St Basil and St Gregory of Nyssa, one of the celebrated Cappadocian Fathers of the fourthcentury Christian Church. Highly educated in both Christian theology and classical Greek literature, he found himself torn between a solitary, contemplative life and the reluctantly accepted, though in actuality relished, public figure of bishop - vigorous in the defence of orthodoxy against the attacks of the Arians. He was even, briefly, bishop of Constantinople and chairman of the council in 381 which produced what we know as the Nicene Creed. This, the first modern edition of his poems, brings together his theological acumen in a formative period and shows his ability to operate in the genre of didactic verse going back the the eighth century BC. The poems cover a range of topics, from the strictly theological to others dealing more broadly with the creation of the world, providence, the world of spiritual beings, and the human soul. They give a unique new insight into both the theological ideas of the period and the uneasy emergence of Christian culture from the pagan past.
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