Basic Image in Early Christian !ought (New York: Harper & Brothers,
1962). After Basil, the imagery is employed by authors like Dionysius the Areopagite, see
e.g.: coel. 1.1, 2; 2.5; 3.2; 13.3; PG 3, 120–21, 144, 165, 301, passim, Maximus Confessor,
e.g. In de div. nom. 1, PG 4, 188; Myst. 1, PG 91, 665, Symeon the New !eologian,
see: Karoliina Maria Schauman, “!e Beauty of the Light of God in St Symeon the New
!eologian,” in !e Beauty of God’s Presence in the FathersoftheChurch. !e Proceedings of
the Eighth International Patristic Conference, Maynooth, 2012
Tradition.12 To G.A. Galitis, he was a contemporary fatheroftheChurch, a patristic theologian who brought to us the spirit of the Fathers
through his own spirit, in the language of contemporary theology.13
The fact that the Church has always had its Fathers and that one of
the current problems of Orthodoxy is the weakness of its creative connection
with the Tradition is clearly stated by Olivier Clement:
“Orthodoxy’s problem today is its tendency to believe that the Parents
have said it all and we should just repeat their words, build a wall
around the teachings
Virgin Mary, the holy FathersoftheChurch therefore come to life, familiar
and close to the believers who take part in religious ceremonies inside religious
monuments. Christian iconography is meant to be symbolic, but here the
message appears through both image and word. The iconographic program
represents the message addressed to all those partaking in the Holy Liturgy
concerning The Heavenly Kingdom, but also the path a Christian must follow
in order to reach that objective. Entering God’s Kingdom and thus attaining
salvation by following the
elements of the O.T. Is this not what the FathersoftheChurch in the Golden Age mutatis mutandis actually did? Only by
going back to the origins of the liturgical practice of the people of God can
we explain what happened and the Christian liturgy from a radical event of
Christian witness became an end in itself, losing almost all its dynamism.
Only in this way can one realize the importance of the Bible in our Church’s
witness, and of course reject the appalling fundamentalist hermeneutics.
The first Christians developed their liturgical behavior in accordance
charity, as it says in a version of the psalm:
who makes men of one mind [unanimes] to dwell in a house [Ps. 67, 7]”.37
29 St. Augustine, Tractates on the Gospel of John 11-27, trans. J.W. Rettig, FathersoftheChurch (Washington:
Catholic University of America Press, 1988), tractate 26, §14, p. 272.
30 Cf. G. Emery, “The Ecclesial Fruit of the Eucharist in St. Thomas Aquinas” Nova et
Sabbath, and refrain from meats, and offer burnt sacrifices to God, and adore in Jerusalem
at the Temple, and from Christians become wholly Jews. What could be more ridiculous
than these statements, or, rather, more foreign to the teaching of the Gospel?” Bas., ep. 263;
translation by Agnes Clare, Way in Saint Basil, Letters, Volume 2 (186-368), The FathersoftheChurch Volume 28, Washington, The Catholic University of America Press 2007.
Positive remarks on Jews or Judaism?
If one looks for positive views on Judaism from the patristic authors
pattern of the FathersoftheChurch, since for
the Fathers the knowledge of God could be found only within the Tradition
of the Church.90 In the movement from the Enlightenment and Romanti-
cism there is a tendency to break the thread of tradition as being something
that confuses and falsifies. For Louth tradition is the continuity of a human
85 Ibidem, p. 30.
86 Ibidem, p. xii.
87 “Both the writer and I who seek to understand him belong in history: I cannot reconstruct
his historical situation and think myself into it, as if I had no historical context myself
.), Sacraments and Services: The Sacraments, Service of Holy Matri-
mony, trans. Archimandrite Leonidas Contos, Northridge, Narthex Press 1995, p. 40.
Ciprian Ioan Streza
he should betroth Rebecca: Do Thou, the same Lord, bless also the betrothal
of these Thy servants...”45
The FathersoftheChurch saw in Isaac’s and Rebecca’s betrothal a
“type” of the call of the Gentiles to Christ. The Fathers also saw a prefiguring
of the Baptism in the fact that Rebecca was identified by the servant Eliezer
when she was drawing water out of the well (Gen. 24.14): in
entirely cut off (at least initially) from their Abrahamic
77 W. H. C. Frend, «The Old Testament”, p. 142.
78 See: John Chrysostom, Discourses against Judaizing Christians, trans. Paul W. Harkins,
The FathersoftheChurch, Washington, Catholic University of America Press 1979, p. xxxi,
79 See: D. Tonias, Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom, Minneapolis, Fortress Press 2014.
80 Chrys., hom. in Mt. 11, PG 57, 194; trans. NPNF I, 10, p. 66. Here Chrysostom makes
reference to the cardinal virtue “σωφροσύνῃ” and thus relates the practice of virtue to rela
51 See:. Cyril, Ep 46.7 ad Succensum II (citations from St. Cyril of Alexandria: Letters 1-50,
trans. John I. McEnerney, FathersoftheChurch, vol. 76, Washington, D. C., Catholic
University of America Press 1987, p. 201). Severus of Antioch will follow suit; see: Hom 14
(PO 38, p. 410) and Hom 38 (PO 8, p. 216-217), cited and discussed at A. Grillmeier, CCT
2/2, p. 133; see also: J. Lebon, “La christologie du monophysisme syrien,” in: A. Grillmeier,
H. Bacht (eds.) Das Konzil von Chalkedon, p. 443-444.
52 Cyril, Comm. in Iohannem X.2 (Pusey, p. 543