The Doctors of the Church: Thirty-Three Men and Women Who Shaped Christianity

The Doctors of the Church: Thirty-Three Men and Women Who Shaped Christianity

by Bernard McGinn

Paperback(Second edition)

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In this authoritative, meticulously researched volume, Bernard McGinn introduces us to the lives and teachings of the 33 men and women who have been named Doctors of the Church for the importance and reliability of their teaching. Whether spiritual guides, defenders of orthodoxy, philosophers and theologians, reformers and founders, evangelists, or biblical interpreters, each doctor offers a distinct insight into the universal and enduring truths of the Catholic faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780824525491
Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Series: Herder & Herder Books
Edition description: Second edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Bernard McGinn is a lecturer, a professor, and the author of The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism and The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations xi

Preface xiii

A Brief Preface to the Second Edition xviii

Part 1 What Is A Doctor Of The Church? 1

Part 2 Who Are The Doctors of The Church? A Brief Survey 35

I Patristic Doctors

1 Athanasius of Alexandria: Supporter of monasticism and champion of trinitarian theology 38

2 Ephrem the Syrian: Ascetic, composer of poetry and hymns 44

3 Hilary of Poitiers: Early Latin bishop and contributor to trinitarian doctrine 50

4 Cyril of Jerusalem: The great liturgical doctor 55

5 Basil of Caesarea: Charismatic Cappadocian bishop and influential trinitarian theologian 59

6 Gregory of Nazianzus: Eloquent speaker and writer in defense of Nicene faith 65

7 Ambrose of Milan: Master of spiritual exegesis of scripture 70

8 John Chrysostom: Gifted orator on practical themes from scripture 75

9 Jerome: Brilliant scholar and Bible translator 80

10 Augustine of Hippo: Major theologian of Western Christianity; author of the City of God 87

11 Cyril of Alexandria: “Seal of the Fathers” and defender of the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ 95

12 Peter Chrysologus: Classically trained homilist on Christology and Mariology 102

13 Leo the Great: Influential Christological teacher and preacher; eloquent defender of papal primacy 105

II Medieval Doctors

14 Gregory the Great: Pope and influential moral and mystical teacher 114

15 Isidore of Seville: Bishop and author of influential reference works 119

16 Bede the Venerable: Scholar, educator, and author of the Ecclesiastical History of the English People 123

17 John of Damascus: Hymn writer, prolific author, and defender of the use of icons 129

18 Peter Damian: ”Lugubrious Doctor” supporter of severe asceticism 134

19 Anselm of Canterbury: “Theologian's theologian”; author of the ontological proof for God's existence 140

20 Bernard of Clairvaux: “The difficult saint,” mystical theologian, and Cistercian leader 145

21 Anthony of Padua: First Franciscan theologian; preacher and miracle worker 151

22 Albert the Great: Patron saint of physical and natural scientists 155

23 Bonaventure of Bagnorea: Official biographer of Francis and brilliant mystical theologian 161

24 Thomas Aquinas: Author of the Summa Theologiae; greatest scholastic theologian 168

25 Catherine of Siena: Papal advisor, ascetic, and chronicler of vivid mystical experience 177

III Modern Doctors

26 Teresa of Avila: Institutional reformer; doctor of the stages of mystical transformation 186

27 Peter Canisius: Organizer of schools and German “hammer of heretics” 193

28 John of the Cross: Renowned Spanish poet and mystic of the “dark night of the soul” 199

29 Robert Bellarmine: Learned scholar and champion of papal prerogatives 206

30 Lawrence of Brindisi: Brilliant scholar, preacher, and diplomat 211

31 Francis de Sales: Spiritual director renowned for his compassion and “devout humanism” 215

32 Alphonsus de Liguori: Minister to the poor and patron saint of confessors and moral theologians 222

33 Thérèse of Lisieux: “Doctor of pure love” and author of Story of a Soul 227

Part 3 What Is The Future of The Doctors of The Church? 235

Appendix 1 Dictionary of Heresies 251

Appendix 2 Ecumenical Councils 253

Appendix 3 Use of Doctors in Recent Church Teaching 255

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