Patristic anthology

Patristic Anthology

Patristic anthology

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Description:
A patristic anthology, commonly called a florilegium, is a systematic collections of excerpts (more or less copious) from the works of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers of the early period, compiled with a view to serve dogmatic or ethical purposes. These encyclopedic compilations are a characteristic product of the later Byzantine theological school, and form a very considerable branch of the extensive literature of the Greek Catenæ. They frequently embody the only remains of some patristic writings.

Classification

Two classes of Christian florilegia may here be distinguished: the dogmatic and the ascetical, or ethical. The dogmatic florilegia are designed to exhibit the continuous and connected teaching of the Fathers on some specific doctrine. The first impulse to compilations of this nature was given by the Christological controversies that convulsed the Eastern Church during the fifth century. A convenient summary of what the Fathers and most approved theologians had held and taught was wanted. Such a summary, setting forth the views of Nestorius and the mind of the orthodox Fathers, was first laid before the Council of Ephesus, in 431, by St. Cyril of Alexandria. Summaries of dogmatic utterances were used also at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and at the Fifth General Council in 533.

Dogmatic florilegia

Only in the seventh century the dogmatic florilegia assumed a fully developed and definite form. At the Sixth General......
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