After the Emperor Constantine made the Church's faith legal in 313, there was a tremendous flowering of Christian culture and a creative and turbulent encounter between the Christian community and the classical heritage of late antiquity. In the final third of the fourth century the three great Cappadocian Fathers were at the centre of this exciting encounter. Their leader was St Basil, an ecclesiastical statesman, social reformer and monastic founder as well as a theologian. His friend St Gregory of Nazianzus was a brilliant preacher and sensitive poet who gave classic expression to the theology and spirituality of the Holy Trinity in luminous prose and versa. Basil's brother St Gregory of Nyssa was renowned for the depth of his speculative theology and mystical spirituality. Though they collaborated and shared many common perspectives, each had a unique gift and personality.
This work is one of the few devoted exclusively to introducing the three great Cappadocian fathers, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa. Meredith offers a helpful, non-technical, yet informed overview of the life and thought of each father. Strongly recommended for anyone interested in learning about the fourth century of the Church, the history of Trinitarian doctrine, the encounter between Christianity and Hellenism, or the theological and cultural foundations of the Christian East.