The Singing-Masters (Digital)

Church Fathers from Greek East and Latin West

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February 20, 2023
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"I . . . find these Fathers to be, in words of William Butler Yeats, 'singing-masters of my soul'. Anyone who prays through the year the Office of Readings in the Roman Liturgy of the Hours will understand why."
— Fr. Aidan Nichols, From the Introduction

The Singing-Masters, written by the author of Rome and the Eastern Churches, is a passionate, personalized account of the theological achievement of eighteen of the Church Fathers. Ten come from the Greek East: Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Cyril of Alexandria, Denys the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and John Damascene. Eight come from the Latin West: Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and Bede the Venerable.

The Fathers chosen here are those who have been especially authoritative for Catholic doctrine or particularly influential in Church life. While giving a dramatic, humanized account of patristic thought, colored by biographical detail, Aidan Nichols, O.P., draws the reader into a serious discussion of the Fathers' complex theological doctrines. The Singing-Masters offers a holistic and loving introduction to the figures who most shaped Christian thought, both in the East and in the West.

Editorial Reviews

"A beautiful book! On every page, the ancient Fathers rise to life through the ministrations of a theologian who loves them. Father Aidan Nichols wants us to share that love, and his book makes it inevitable that we do. I will read these pages again and again."
— Mike Aquilina, Author, The Fathers of the Church

"This book is mighty and weighty, and yet it reads as easily as a love letter. I didn't want it to end. What the patriarchs were to the people of the Old Testament, the Fathers are to us. If you love the Church Fathers, this may be your new favorite book. If you don't yet know the Fathers, you will love them after reading Fr. Nichols."
— Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism

"A lively summary of patristic theology. To call the Fathers 'singing-masters of my soul' pays them the highest tribute. Indeed, the whole Patristic endeavor had only one goal: to teach the human soul how to sing the divine praises with joyful gratitude and understanding."
— Fr. Simeon Leiva, O.C.S.O., Author, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on St. Matthew's Gospel

"With astonishing concision and elegance, Father Nichols offers a cutting-edge, scholarly introduction to the greatest Church Fathers, East and West.  Introductory courses in theology and seminars in patristics alike should assign this book, and all Christians seeking wisdom should read it." 
— Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

"With his usual combination of meticulous scholarship and lucid exposition, Aidan Nichols has produced yet another invaluable volume. In these portraits of figures ranging from Irenaeus to Bede, he not only makes their teachings come alive for our time, he takes a place himself as a singing master among the singing masters." 
— Robert Royal, Author, A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition of the Twentieth Century

"When I wrote my first book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, non-Catholic readers found the words of the Church Fathers to be the most convincing parts of my arguments. They demonstrated what Christians believed more than a millennium before Protestantism appeared, and their testimony often proved to be the proximate cause of changes of hearts and minds."
— Karl Keating, Founder, Catholic Answers; Author, Catholicism and Fundamentalism


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