"Gregory of Nazianzus, a complex and colorful figure in a crucial age (fourth century AD) when it was permissible for the first time to be a public Christian intellectual, was well placed to become one of the outstanding defenders and formulators of Church doctrine. A gifted and skilled rhetorician, poet, and orator, and a profound theologian, Gregory was ordained a bishop and served for almost two years as head of the orthodox Christian community in Constantinople, where he played a crucial role in formulating the classical doctrines of the Trinity and the person of Christ. Under fire from opponents in the Church, the enigmatic Gregory eventually retreated into a quiet life of study and simple asceticism in his native Cappadocia, concentrating there on bringing the broad canon of his own writings to their present form. The body of his works, including poetry, letters, sermons and lectures on religious themes and written with the precision and elegance of classical Greek literature, was recognized in the Byzantine age as equal in quality to the achievements of the greatest Greek writers. A collection of new translations of a selection of these works, with an extensive introduction to Gregory's life, thought, and writings, Gregory of Nazianzus presents to us a vivid portrait of a fascinating character who deserves to be regarded as one of the Christian tradition's outstanding theologians and as the first true Christian humanist"--Publisher description.