Frogs & Friendship

One consolation of spotty education is the opportunity to read texts later in life that you wish you had read much earlier but that fell through the cracks until you were mature enough to appreciate them more fully. Such was the case for me reading Gregory of Nyssa’s charming, instructive The Life of Moses, an account of the Christian life read into the Exodus story through the actions of its chief protagonist, Moses.

A bishop of Cappadocia (in modern-day Turkey), Gregory was the younger brother of Basil of Caesarea; together with their friend Gregory of Nazianzus, they are collectively referred to as the “Cappadocian Fathers,” key shapers of and advocates for Nicene Christianity at a crucial time (the 300s) in the Church’s doctrinal formation and highly revered in most traditional strands of Christianity, not least among the Eastern Orthodox.

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Thomas Albert Howard is professor of humanities and holder of the Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University. He is the editor of The Idea of Tradition in the Late Modern World (Cascade, 2020).

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