An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Gregory of Nazianzus

(c. 329-389 or 390). Leading trinitarian theologian. He was born at Arianzus in Cappadocia. Gregory succeeded his father as Bishop of Nazianzus and in 379 was elected Bishop of Constantinople. He was a great defender of the Nicene Faith and played a leading role at the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 381. He insisted that the only distinctions that can be established between the three Persons of the Trinity are those which refer to the origin of each of them. The Father is unbegotten, the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds. He was an opponent of Apollinaris and taught the complete humanity and the complete divinity of Jesus Christ. Gregory has been called “the Theologian,” “the Divine,” and the “Christian Demosthenes.” He and Basil of Caesarea, along with Basil's brother, Gregory of Nyssa, are known as the “Cappadocian Fathers.” His works include Five Orations on the Divinity of the Word; and the Philocalia, a collection of Origen's writings that he compiled with Basil. Gregory is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on May 9.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.