Saturday, 11 April 2015

Hans (J.C.) van Loon: ‘Virtue' in Cyril of Alexandria's Festal Letters

In the yearly festal letters of Cyril of Alexandria (412-444) the concept of ‘virtue' plays a major role. The archbishop often calls on his audience to live virtuous lives, because it is a fitting response to the grace and salvation offered in Jesus Christ, while it is a precondition for an intimate relationship with God. In the course of his deliberations, Cyril mentions many different virtues, both from scriptural sources and from the Greek philosophical tradition. In this paper I will discuss the role ‘virtue' plays in the pastoral theology of Cyril's festal letters, with special attention to the biblical and philosophical catalogues he uses, and their interaction.

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