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Gregory of Nazianzus
St. Gregory of Nazianzus (c 329 - c 390 CE), one of the three Cappaddocian Fathers (the other two being Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa) and a Doctor of the Church, was the son of the bishop of Nazianzus in Cappadocia. He was educated broadly in Christian writings, especially Origen, and in Greek philosopy. While studying in Cappadocian Caesarea, he met Basil, and formed a friendship that had both good and bad effects on his life. Together they assembled the Philocalia, an anthology of Origen's works. Gregory's mother, Nonna, formed the center of faith in his family and encouraged him toward the ascetic life. Yet, under forcible influence from his father, he was ordained a priest. Having trouble choosing between ascetic and public life, he fled more than once into monastic retreat when community demands plagued him. From 379-381 he served the Nicene minority as bishop of Constantinople. He thought that belief in God's incomprehensibility was crucial for orthodox theology. His rhetorical skill and defense of the Nicene position, as shown in his five Theological Orations, earned him the title "The Theologian."
Elise M. Bender
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