On the Human Condition: St. Basil the Great

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Popular Patristics Series Volume 30

This valuable work brings together major themes in Greek Patristic anthropology -- the image of God in the human being, the Fall from Paradise, and the human condition in the present life and in the age to come. St. Basil the Great addresses the questions posed by the human condition with characteristic clarity, balance, and sobriety.

Translated into English for the first time are two discourses on the creation of humanity and a homily on the causes of evil. There is a new translation of a famous homily meditating on our human identity and experience. The volume also includes Letter 233 to Amphilochius of Iconium, St. Basil's spiritual son -- a succinct and pointed discussion of how the human mind functions, the activity for which God created it, and how it can be used for good, evil, or morally neutral purposes. This letter complements the discussion of emotions in St. Basil's Homily against Anger, also included in this volume. Finally, the book includes excerpts from St. Basil's fatherly instructions to his ascetic communities, commonly known as the Long Rules, or the Great Asceticon.