In this unit, students will undertake a detailed study of the life and afterlife of St Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian. Students will consider Gregory’s theological, ecclesiastical, and literary contributions in their historical context and study his impact and legacy from his death to the present day. Students will engage in close reading of primary texts, covering the wide range of Gregory’s interests and the key genres in which he wrote—epistolary, poetry, and homiletic—and examine conciliar, hagiographical, and liturgical texts, documents, icons, and other sources to explore his impact and legacy.

Unit code: CH9520A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Critically discuss the distinguishing features of Gregory’s works with reference to their genre, historical context and literary, ecclesiastic, or theological contribution


Appraise the theological vision of St Gregory and its historical context


Critically evaluate the role of the works of St Gregory in the establishment of Nicene theology


Demonstrate an understanding of the legacy and impact of St Gregory in intellectual, theological, material, and ecclesiastic contexts from his death to the present day


Develop a critical framework for reading and interpreting historical events contained in the primary sources


Synchronous and asynchronous, pre-recorded lectures, flipped classroom, weekly class tutorials, guided reading and analysis (intensive component).

Indicative Bibliography

Beeley, Christopher A. Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: In Your Light We Shall See Light. Oxford Studies in Historical Theology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Beeley, Christopher A., ed. Re-Reading Gregory of Nazianzus: Essays on History, Theology and Culture. CUA Studies in Early Christianity. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2012.

Dunkle, Brian, trans. St Gregory of Nazianzus: Poems on Scripture. Popular Patristics Series 46. Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2012.

Elm, Susanna. Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Vision of Rome. Transformation of the Classical Heritage 49. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.

Gilbert, Peter, trans. On God and Man: The Theological Poetry of St Gregory of Nazianzus. Popular Patristics Series 21. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2001.

Harrison, Nonna Verna, trans. St Gregory of Nazianzus: Festal Orations. Popular Patristics Series 36. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2008.

Hofer, Andrew. Christ in the Life and Teaching of Gregory of Nazianzus. Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

McGuckin, John Anthony. St Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2001.

Storin, Bradley K. Gregory of Nazianzus’s Letter Collection: The Complete Translation. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019.

Vinson, Martha, trans. St. Gregory of Nazianzus: Select Orations. The Fathers of the Church 107. Baltimore: Catholic University of America Press, 2004.

White, Carolinne, ed. and trans. Gregory of Nazianzus: Autobiographical Poems. Cambridge Medieval Classics 6. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Williams, Frederick, and Lionel R. Wickham, trans. St Gregory of Nazianzus: On God and Christ; The Five Theological Orations and Two Letters to Cledonius. Popular Patristics Series 23. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2002.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

written assessment task

3500 50.0

written assessment task

3500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 4 May, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-05-04 09:52:26 +1000