Favorite Church Father

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I am looking on reading some church fathers and I was wondering who everyone's favorite Church Father was.
     
  2. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to answer the question directly but I will give you a piece of advice for reading the fathers: begin with a comparison of St. Paul's epistle to the Philippians and St. Polycarp of Smyrna's epistle to the same church. In particular, notice when and how Polycarp references Paul.
     
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  3. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Well-Known Member Anglican

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    St Augustine hands down
     
  4. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I think I am going to read about St. Polycarp and then Gregory of Nyssa
     
  5. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I would advise against jumping straight from Polycarp to Gregory of Nyssa. There was a lot of development in the writings of the Fathers before one gets to Gregory and his material is fairly dense and sometimes controversial.

    Fr. Tom and I are working on a project to get the postulants reading the fathers. We have decided to choose from each of the first five centuries (to borrow from Lancelot Andrewes' famous approach) and identify a key work for them to read. This is a difficult task with authors as prolific as Hilary of Poitiers, Augustine of Hippo, and John Crysostom. The early centuries are fairly easy: Polycarp and Clement, Justin Martyr, Cyprian of Carthage.

    Another suggestion: read the Shepherd of Hermas. Not really a work by the fathers in the conventional sense but a very important work in the early period of the church. It is in the Biblical canon of a few of the Orthodox churches. I personally think it belongs in the NT but that is a private opinion. One of these days I'm going to sit down and write a study guide for the Shepherd.
     
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  6. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    Why do you think it should be in the Canon? Perhaps I will just go to Polycarp and then Clement then.
     
  7. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    When I get around to preparing a study on the Shepherd, I am going to write an essay defense as well. Stay tuned.
     
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  8. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    bwallac2335, you've motivated me. I've got one or more big events scheduled each month through the end of April but starting in May I am going to sit down and work over the Shepherd of Hermas. That will be my big project for the summer.
     
  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    Glad I could be of some help in some way. I just ordered a book about the apostolic fathers and one by St. Polycarp
     
  10. Rhys

    Rhys Member

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    Gregory Palamas.
     
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  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    Just got a book in about the Desert Fathers.
     

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