St Gregory the Theologian: Oration 38

With the Church now preparing to celebrate the Nativity of her Lord, I thought it appropriate to reblog the very first article posted on Eclectic Orthodoxy. Oration 38 of St Gregory of Nazianzus represents the finest of patristic preaching and deserves careful study and prayerful meditation by Christians of the 21st century.

Eclectic Orthodoxy

In the winter of A.D. 380-381, St Gregory the Theologian, recently appointed Archbishop of Constantinople, delivered at the Church of the Holy Apostles his famous Epiphany Homilies—Orations 38, 39, and 40. Scholars debate whether the church in Constantinople had at this time adopted the Roman custom of celebrating the Feast of the Nativity on December 25th. If it did, then Oration 38 was most likely preached on Christmas Day and Orations 39 and 40 preached on the vigil and day of the Epiphany; if it did not, then Oration 38 was most perhaps delivered on January 4th. The Epiphany Orations, writes Christopher Beeley, contain St Gregory’s “most comprehensive treatment of Christian theology and spirituality” (Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God, p. 43). Unlike the Five Theological Orations, delivered some six months earlier at the house church of the Anastasia and which…

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1 Response to St Gregory the Theologian: Oration 38

  1. The Church catholic has just three theologians–Gregory the Theologian, Symeon the New Theologian, and John the Theologian. I was wondering why such an ancient theologian like Symeon was the “new” one but then I realized that a theologian is one who experiences God, not one who studies God. At least according to one catechetical instruction booklet I have from my very brief days as a Greek Catholic catechumen.


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