St. Gregory of Nyssa and the Tradition of the Fathers

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This study refutes the ordinary description of St. Gregory as would-be philosopher in the Greek tradition. First, it describes the world-view of the holy Fathers, holding that it is to their fellowship that he belonged, not the Platonic tradition of the philosophies of Plotinus, Philo, and Origen of Alexandria. Chapters compare St. Gregory to these alleged models and sources, and he matches none of them. The study also holds that the works of St. Gregory were adulterated by his enemies, probably during the sixth-century Origenist revival, as his orthodoxy was never questioned by anyone until the time that the latter followers of Origen associated him with their cause. This study opens up a new direction in the study of religion, contributes to the 'rehabilitation' of St. Gregory and the Christian Tradition to which he was a preeminent witness.


"Azkoul challenges many long held beliefs about the nature of patristic thought. . . .Azkoul may be correct to suggest that the scholarly community ought to reassess the influence of Greek philosophical traditions on patristic authors." - Religious Studies Review

". . . . we were impressed with the comprehensiveness of Fr. Michael's sources, in his collating of almost everything which had been written about St. Gregory and presenting it so as to be easily accessible and clear. By presenting the whole spectrum of opinion, his assessment of the Saint's theological position -- based upon the writings of the Saint and objective historical facts -- is judicious and convincing, the more so in that it avoids pre-conceived theoretical positions and it analyses the complete opus." - Fr. Haralampos

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