The Sculptor and His Stone: Selected Readings on Hellenistic and Christian Learning and Thought in the Early Greek Fathers

By Archbishop Chrysostomos (editor)

A collection of essays exploring the importance of classical Hellenistic thought in the early development of the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

ISBN: 9780227176221


This book argues for the inseparability of classical Hellenism from the Greek patristic tradition from a distinctly Eastern Orthodox perspective. Postulating a common striving for truth in both domains, it places emphasis on the contributions of the ancients and Greek paideia to Christian learning and culture. In the spirit of the late Werner Jaeger, the essays contained in the volume provide a fruitful strategy for looking anew at the Greek classical world and Christianity through the eyes of the Greek Fathers, the direct inheritors of the ancient Greek worldview. Collectively, the author and contributors excellently demonstrate that, conflated with the visionary insights of the Jewish prophets and of Jewish messianism, the wisdom of the ancients served to pave the way for the unfolding of the fullness of Christian teaching and its spiritually enlightening revelation.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 174

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

The Most Reverend Chrysostomos is Senior Research Scholar at the Centre for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies.




1. Man and His Universe in Hellenistic Thought and the Greek Fathers
     The Reverend Gregory Telepneff and the Most Reverend Chrysostomos
2. Body, Soul, and Spirit in the Greek Ancients and in the Greek Fathers and Their Theological Legacy in Eastern Orthodox Christianity
     The Most Reverend Chrysostomos
3. The Greek Fathers and Secular Knowledge
     The Most Reverend Chrysostomos and Archimandrite Patapios
4. The Transformation of Hellenistic Philosophical Nomenclature in the Greek Patristic Tradition
     The Most Reverend Chrysostomos and Archimandrite Patapios
5. The Notion of Rhetoric in the Eastern Orthodox Patristic Tradition
     Bishop Auxentios
6. The Concept of Philosophy in the Hellenic Tradition
     Constantine Cavarnos
7. Images of the Invisible Beauty: Plotinian Aesthetics and Byzantine Iconography
     Archimandrite Patapios
8. In Defense of Piety: Respect for Words and Respect for “The Word”
     J.C.B. Petropoulos
9. Free Will, Character, and Responsibility in Classical Greek Thought, the Greek Fathers, and Modern Existentialism
     Constantine Cavarnos
10. The Ancient Greek Heritage
     Constantine Cavarnos
11. The Hellenic Heritage in Byzantium
     Constantine Cavarnos


Endorsements and Reviews

This fine book illustrates how early Christian thought synthesised Jewish revelation with Greek philosophy and literature, integrating intellectual knowledge with spiritual understanding. The articles illustrate this synthesis with a number of topics, such as the relationship between soul, body, and spirit. Metropolitan Chrysostomos’ clear introduction encourages readers, in the current anti-Christian culture, to understand the powerful truths and insights of the early Christian writers.
Jeffrey Burton Russell, Emeritus Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Archbishop Chrysostomos has not produced merely a simple collection of texts. If one follows them step by step, he will certainly decipher a golden thread that goes deeper into the history of the birth of Orthodox Christianity. … The subject matter is complex and difficult. Nevertheless [the book] commends itself as an easy, fruitful, erudite, and spiritual reading.
Remus Rus, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Bucharest, Romania