Review: On the Holy Spirit

On the Holy Spirit
On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil the Great

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is perhaps one of the most interesting and perpetually relevant Patristic writings from the period of the Arian controversy. While St. Basil’s discussions of certain intricacies of Greek grammar and theological terminology may overwhelm a reader who is new to the writings of the Church Fathers, so much of this book is fascinating and enlightening that it is worth the struggle through the more difficult passages. Of particular interest to the modern reader are St. Basil’s discussions of the place of the Holy Spirit in Christian morality, some of his historical notes on the treatment of the Holy Spirit (and, for this reader, on the liturgical practices) of the earlier Fathers and as St. Basil observed them in various places in the Christian world, and, perhaps more than all else, of the place and importance of tradition in the belief and practice of the fourth century Church. In spite of the sometimes difficult terminology, I recommend this book as a good entryway into Patristics.

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